Leg Length Discrepancy
What is it?
The term refers to a difference in length between the left and right leg. It may be developmental, as the human body is rarely symmetrical, or can be as a result of trauma (usually resulting in a shortening of the affected leg) or joint replacement (sometimes resulting in a lengthening of the affected leg).
The most common symptom is low back pain which results from the postural adjustment which occurs in this area as a result of the discrepancy. Other symptoms include hip pain and knee pain.
Treatment is based on equalising the leg lengths which reduces the postural adjustment and the unequal stresses on the limbs and is achieved by the use of either:
- A heel elevator which is fitted inside the shoe
- An externally fitted shoe raise
The type of raise (internal or external) is dependent on the amount of shortening identified.