What are possible treatments for leg length discrepancy?Orthopaedic Surgery Sport Medicine
What are the possible remedies for mild leg length discrepancy? Eg. One leg is longer than the other by 1 cm. I feel that it is causing symptoms, such as lower back pain and a tendency to put more pressure on one leg over another.
Leg length discrepency (LLD ) is a fairly common occurence amongst the population. Management depends on a few factors, including:
1. Symptoms. Does it actually cause symptoms in the foot, leg, or back somewhere else.
2. The actual LLD.
A 1cm LLD is actually managed by orthotics. A visit to the podiatrist will help the problem. They can custom make an insole to correct the discrepency in height (1cm), and wearing it should help the problem. There is NO indication for any invasive option at a LLD of 1cm. Orthotics are actually suitable for LLD till 5cm.
Symptoms wise, like you mentioned, should usually get better once the LLD is resolved. As the body weight distribution and mechanics become more normal, the pressure on the back and other leg should decrease, and hence alleviate the symptoms. If you still are having lower back pain despite the correction of the LLD, it would then be important to find out why the pain is persistent. There would be other causes of low back pain to exclude as well.
Hope this helps
Dr Sean Ng
Thank you for your question. Dr Sean has given a great answer for you question, but I would like to add that perhaps getting assessed first is important. A LLD can be either actual or apparent. What I mean by this is in some situations there can be an ACTUAL different in leg length after measurement, but in situations where there is an apparent leg length different, it might be due to a pelvic or lower back issue.
Getting yourself assessed is the first step - this can be either by a MSK/Sports Physician, a physiotherapist or a podiatrist. You can then try to correct things with a combination of therapy, orthoses or other treatments. In situations where you are having considerable pain or a significant LLD, then a surgical option is reasonable to correct the difference.
I hope this adds to your information.
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