Leg length discrepancy (LLD)

Leg length discrepancy

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Leg length discrepancy (LLD)


Exciting times are ahead of us now that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the landscape of healthcare. Medical devices and prosthetic capabilities will become very intuitive with exceptional capabilities embracing change and incredible innovations to come. Solving health problems even the common cold is likely to become a part of history.

Now is it possible that there is a discrepancy in our leg length? Yes, and it is called leg length discrepancy. Let’s dig deep what is this condition. Do you know someone who has this disorder?

Leg length discrepancy (LLD) is a relatively common condition where one leg is shorter than the other classed as >over 2cm to indicate possible interventions.  A LLD can occur from congenital factors (present at birth), growth plate abnormalities, infections, fractures/trauma or surgery affecting the bones and joints in the legs.

Symptoms of Leg length discrepancy

Leg length discrepancy may result in various symptoms, such as:

  • an uneven gait with excessive motion to one side
  • there maybe contracture of the spinal joints / muscles and an overstretch of ligaments on the counter side
  • knee, hip and / or back pain
  • walking problems such as limping or toe-walking
  • difficulties with the cadence, balance or posture

Callous patterns can be quite different from one foot compared to another in more severe cases.  The symptoms vary widely from child to adult, based on the degree of difference in leg lengths, the body’s ability to adapt generally and as to the severity of the causative factors leading to a limb difference.

Leg length discrepancy can only be formally measured and diagnosed using imaging techniques like X-rays and CT scans, however, nevetherless physical examination gives us an approximate measurement/idea but cannot be considered as the gold standard. The difference in leg lengths is usually measured from the bony prominence on the hips (iliac crest) or navel down to the bony outer or inner protuberances of the ankles.

Treatments of Leg length discrepancy

There are several treatment options and the treatment approach depends on the severity, cause, age, and associated symptoms. There are non-surgical treatments such as shoe lifts or heel inserts, physical therapy, adaptive devices and prosthetics while surgical treatments include epiphysiodesis, epiphyseal stapling, and bone resection.

If you suspect you have leg length discrepancy or are experiencing related symptoms, it is advisable to consult with a podiatrist. They can assess your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific circumstances. We can help. Book an appointment now.

Did you know what is the last bone to form in the foot?

It’s worth noting that the growth and development of bones can vary among individuals. The last bone to form in the foot is typically the calcaneus, also known as the heel bone. The calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot and is located at the back of the foot, beneath the talus bone. It plays a crucial role in weight-bearing and provides support and stability to the foot.

The calcaneus begins to ossify, or harden, during early childhood and continues to develop until around the age of 14-16. The process of ossification involves the gradual replacement of cartilage with bone tissue. During this period, the calcaneus undergoes growth and maturation, contributing to the overall development of the foot.

How about the age we get foot growth spurts?

During the growth spurts, the bones, muscles, and other tissues in the feet undergo rapid development and may result in an increase in foot size. Foot growth spurts typically occur during childhood and adolescence, rather than during middle age.

The timing and duration of growth spurts can vary among individuals, but they commonly occur between the ages of 8 and 14 in girls and between the ages of 10 and 16 in boys.

What is another name for whitlow?

Another name for whitlow is herpetic whitlow. Whitlow is a common term used to describe an infection of the finger or toe, typically caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is characterized by the development of painful, swollen blisters or sores on the affected area. Herpetic whitlow is often associated with HSV-1 (usually oral herpes) or HSV-2 (usually genital herpes), and it can occur in both children and adults.

Are you suffering from any of these conditions?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. ✅ Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000📞



We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team


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