One of the earliest posts I had made was on the well known height increase case of Adam Rainer, which Guinness Book Records and other height resource sites have called the only person in history to be both a dwarf and giant in his life. His story and legend has grown so big that he is almost like Robert Wadlow in his infamy. I wanted to revisit his case because I found out some additional information about him.
From The Tallest Man website located HERE it would appear that Adam started growing rapidly at the age of 21. It was his feet and hands that started to get really big at first. What is interesting from the site is that they state that Adam suffered from Acromegaly, but Acromegaly is the condition people with excess HGH release have after puberty and the regular growing process is supposed to have suffered. Adam did suffer the standard condition for people who become giants, a tumor developed close to or at the pituitary gland that presses it to release excess HGH causing the body to grow excessively
What is probably less well known is that before one reach puberty and during puberty, the tumor at the pituitary gland is diagnosed as gigantism by doctors. After puberty has stopped and the growth plates are supposed to be closed, the condition is no longer called gigantism but acromegaly. It is Acromegaly that most doctors are truly worried about since at that time the conveitonal medical opinion is that the body will try to grow in other ways besides vertically because the long bones don’t have the cartilage to grow in that direction anymore. I agree with half of that idea. I think that one can still grow vertically with acromegaly.
The primary case is Rainer’s. The resource clearly stated that Rainer was suffering from acromegaly, not gigantism so that means that his growth plates should have sealed. He was 21 when the growth spurt occurred. Sure, we could argue that he was a late bloomer and that his plates did not close, but in the resource, it is noted that adam had a standing height of 6′ 9″ but he had scoliosis (curvature of the spine) which seemed to get worse as time went on.
Adam didn’t die until he was 51 and it is true that his standing height of 6′ 9″ might have never changed but his body was fighting to grow. His back was becoming more curved so it was clear that his vertebrate or the intervertebral disks was getting thicken and bigger. Most giants like the tallest women in history 8′ 1″ Zhen Jinlian and modern giant 8′ 1″ Brahim Takioullah both suffer from spinal curvature which prevents them from showcasing their true height if corrected for back curvature. At this point, I am not sure why the back curvature even happens because I would assume that there is a height limiting constraint like a bone that does not increase forcing the body to lean forward and cause back curvature. However, if Adam was able to overcome that back curvature, which I theorize he could have, then he would have proved that even after the growth plates are closed from puberty, an excess release of HGH can still cause height increase because the growth hormones get released into the disks which lengthen and widen, as well as the joints like the hips and knee cartilage which continue to expand. My guess is that the back curvature happened because the body could not handle the amount of loading that was added upon which came too quickly so the body was not able to adapt fast enough.