My doctor says I’m done growing. Could he be wrong?

Last updated on September 13, 2020



I am 20 going on 21 in a couple of days. I was administered an x-ray of my wrist bone and the epiphyseal bone appears to be closed. I see many people in my college are over 6 feet tall and around 18-19 years old but look more like mid-twenties people, but I digress. Back in high school, many of my friends started springing up rapidly in height but I’ve been going very steadily. My doctor told me from 18 to 20 years old (that is, every time I visited him in the last 2 years) that I was probably done growing, although I beg to differ since my father had relatives that were over six feet tall and my mother (who is 5’1”) has relatives over six feet tall as well. According to the calculator, I am at around 2.9 on the Tanner scale. I have been following an extremely varied diet and do lots of height growth exercises. I really hope to be over 6 feet tall as I am currently only about 5’9.5” and I’m trying to be as patient as possible. I will be 21 in a couple of days. Do you think the doctors might be wrong in terms of my vertical height? I checked my arm span and it’s around 6’2”. My shoe size is 12.

Thank you very much 🙂


In the long run, sticking to the facts is better than pinning your hopes on wishful thinking. Sure, it may be disappointing, but you can move on quicker to better things.

If your epiphyseal is closed, then your long bones are not going to get any longer. It is the nature of bones that once the growth plates close down, they cannot be restarted. If you are getting 2.9 on the Tanner Calculator, then you are not answering the questions correctly. Since you have been keeping track, what has been your height each year? My problem is that while I designed the calculator with a number of checks for accurate input, I can’t double check your answers since I can’t see you. Your doctor has both seen you and has done some tests. The odds are that his answer is correct.

Also, a 6’2″ arm span on an 5’9″ man would say that you have broad shoulders, and broad shoulders develop in stage 4.

Shoe size has been shown to have almost no correlation to height.