Regulation of organ growth is a poorly understood process. In the long bones, the growth plates (GPs) drive elongation by generating a scaffold progressively replaced by bone. Although studies have focused on intrinsic GP regulation, classic and recent experiments suggest that local signals also modulate GP function. We devised a genetic mouse model to study extrinsic long bone growth modulation, in which injury is specifically induced in the left hindlimb, such that the right hindlimb serves as an internal control. Remarkably, when only mesenchyme cells surrounding postnatal GPs were killed, left bone growth was nevertheless reduced. GP signaling was impaired by altered paracrine signals from the knee joint, including activation of the injury response and, in neonates, dampened IGF1 production. Importantly, only the combined prevention of both responses rescued neonatal growth. Thus, we identified signals from the knee joint that modulate bone growth and could underlie establishment of body proportions.