Leg length difference
A leg length difference describes a condition in which one leg either is, or appears to be, longer than the other leg.
What is a leg length difference?
A leg length difference (LLD), or limb length discrepancy as it is also
known, occurs when one leg either is, or appears to be longer than the
other leg. A leg length difference is not un-common, in fact, most people
will have one leg that is slightly longer than the other. For the majority
of people, a limb length difference will go unnoticed, however, others will
suffer from problems associated with the difference in length, such as knee
pain, back pain, and foot pain, as well as other foot and lower limb
A leg length difference can be either functional or structural. A functional leg length difference occurs when the actual length of the limbs is the same, however, the legs appear to be different lengths due to posture, for example, a scoliosis of the spine will create a functional leg length difference.
A structural leg length difference is when the limbs are anatomically different in length, this means that either one or all of the bones that form the leg (tibia) and thigh (femur) are longer on one side when compared to the other leg.
What causes a leg length difference?
A leg length difference may be the result of:
- Increased blood flow to the leg
- Injury to the growth plate
- Surgery (e.g. hip replacement)
- Compensation for biomechanical problems elsewhere, for example, a scoliosis, pelvic tilt.
- Muscular weakness/inflexibility of the pelvis
- Muscular weakness/inflexibility of the foot
- Lax ligaments
Following an assessment with us at Chiropody.co.uk the cause of your Leg length difference will be diagnosed, and treated accordingly.
Signs and symptoms of a leg length difference
The signs and symptoms of a leg length difference may include:
- Back pain(most common)
- Knee pain
- Flank pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Medial tibial stress syndrome
- Hip pain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Shoulder pain
- Foot pain
- Increased wear on one shoe
- Asymmetric posture
If you think you may have a leg length difference, or, if you are experiencing one or more of the above signs and symptoms, visit Chiropody.co.uk for an assessment.
How is a leg length difference diagnosed?
A podiatrist here at Chiropody.co.uk will be able to assess you for limb length difference as part of a Biomechanical assessments . The assessment will provide the podiatrist with the information necessary to form a diagnosis as to the cause of your leg length difference and the treatment most suitable for you.
Benefit of podiatry for a leg length difference
The benefit of podiatry assessment and treatment if you have a leg length difference is:
- Pain relief
- Reduced muscle tightness
- Improved muscle strength
- Improved mechanics
- Improved posture
- Return to activity
The benefits are achieved by improving upon the mechanics of the foot and lower limb, allowing the body to move efficiently and reducing the occurrence of compensatory mechanisms, which can lead to muscular weakness and tightness, pain and discomfort.
What would podiatry for a leg length difference involve?
Podiatry for a leg length difference would involve:
Once a diagnosis of leg length has been diagnosed and the cause has been established the following treatment options may be considered, they include:
- Heel raise
- Strengthening Exercises
- Stretching Programmes
- Advice and education
- Footwear review
A leg length difference is when one leg either is, or, appears to be longer
than the other leg. There are two types of leg length difference;
structural and functional. A structural leg length difference is when there
is an actual anatomical difference in length between the two limbs, whereas
with a functional leg length difference there is no difference in length,
instead the limbs appear to be different lengths due to a compensatory
mechanism for a biomechanical complaint elsewhere in the body.
One of our podiatrists will be able to help you if you think you have a leg length difference, it may be that your knee, back, or foot pain is the result of a leg length difference.
To arrange an assessment with one of our podiatrists please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 4222.
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