Posts for tag: leg length discrepancy
Limb length discrepancy. You may think you know what it is just based on the name, but there is more to this condition than meets the eye. Would it surprise you if I said up to 95% of the population may have a difference in leg length?1 For most people, the difference is not enough to interfere with healthy motion and so it goes unnoticed. For others, there are simple podiatric solutions for getting you back on even ground.
The two major types of LLD are structural and functional. Structural LLD occurs when there is a measurable difference in the corresponding bones of each leg, either femur, fibula, or tibia, creating an uneven gait. Patients may be born with this structural abnormality or it could result from bone trauma or hip and knee replacements.
READ MORE: Joint Replacements and LLD
Functional LLD occurs when the bones are of equal length, but a muscular or functional imbalance in the feet, legs, hips, or back causes an apparent difference in length. Often this presents alongside structural LLD cases. Differences in functional length can also occur from an unnatural curvature of the spine pulling one hip higher than the other.
Humans aren’t made symmetrically, but differences of 5mm or less (about 1/4 of an inch) rarely bother people enough to seek treatment and many of them will not notice at all. Differences over 5mm can cause uneven gait, making it difficult to exercise. Foot complications such as tendonitis and plantar fasciitis may develop from the strain of improper function. All of this will result in leg, hip, and back pain.
Luckily, most cases of LLD can be solved with shoe lifts, either placed in the shoe under the heel or mounted directly to the shoe sole. Your degree of discrepancy will determine which solution is right for you. There’s no reason to live life with the pain of LLD. Talk to your podiatrist today to keep you healthy and active.
Having a joint replacement is a very big deal and deciding to pull the trigger is not a decision to take lightly. Each year over 600,000 knee replacements and 350,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States. The majority of these procedures are wildly successful and give new life back to people who were struggling with chronic pain and limited mobility. However, many people don’t know that a joint replacement may leave you with uneven limbs. In fact, uneven limb length accounted for almost 5% of all complications from these surgeries.
A difference in limb length, whether caused by complications from surgery or from simple genetics, of merely 5mm (1/4”) can cause serious complications for everyday life including back pain and lower extremity pain. In fact, there are so many possible complications from unequal limb length that they are hard to classify and usually overlooked as a potential cause. If you have Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD) then easy relief is possible to get from your local podiatrist.
The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center offers full or partial shoe lifts to help alleviate symptoms from LLD. First, you should come in for a consultation with your podiatrist. They will take the time to measure your legs accurately. After that, you can make the decision together as to what type of lift is best for your situation. In most cases, just bring in the shoes you wear the most and our experienced technicians will add the lift directly to them. Don’t live with LLD! Make your life better and alleviate your symptoms with a simple foot lift. Call and make your appointment today!