Apparent Leg Length Discrepancy

Balancing of gait or weight of the upper body is possible only when the length of the two limbs is equal. Most people have as low as 2 centimetres difference between the limbs. Leg length discrepancy is the result of greater length difference. This is of two types: true and apparent. The later arises due to hip abductions, joint contractions, flexion contractions at the hip and ankles, equines contracture of ankle. Leg length discrepancy because of these conditions can be both lengthening and shortening of the natural length. Another anatomical condition of the problem is that the change can be either in the tibia or the femur or at times both. It is not necessary that both legs of the person undergo these symptoms.

Testing the length takes technical process into consideration. They can be hip flexion test, forward flexion in sitting or standing, hip extensions and rotations. To understand these, there are the Craig’s test, Gaenslen’s test, Fulcrum’s test, hip scouring, torque and many others. While these are the physical tests that involve substantially in the preliminary phases, deeper analysis requires expert opinions. Computed radiography is the most common procedure. Apart from this, one crucial reason for testing is to comprehend whether the leg length discrepancy is due to true or apparent cause.

Physiologically apparent length change occurs due to sacroiliac or lumbo pelvic dysfunction which disrupts normal biochemical activities of the body. Treatment for these conditions clinically involves in treating an apparent articular dysfunction or incorporate myofascial components. Apart from surgical treatment there are also heel lifts, which can provide the necessary balance between the two limbs. Using this technique requires only the leg with short heel. It is essential that the patient gets expertise advice on the shoe heel. Differences from two to three centimetres can find this solution easy to handle. Beyond these, experts consider surgery as a must.

Testing and comprehending leg length discrepancy is fast developing. Treatment procedure starts at an exceptionally early childhood, when assessment through data collection as the child progresses plays a vital role in this act. Moseley chart or the green-Anderson charts are the two types which give accurate results of the estimations. These results help in future treatment. Apparent leg length discrepancy needs extensive coordination from the family of the person and the practitioner. This is because of the mental and physical disturbance it causes and the time taken for gratifying results.