I have one leg shorter than the other, should I get this assessed?

A leg length discrepancy is a difference between the length of the legs from your hips down to your feet. Minor leg length differences are very common, with a majority of people having a difference of less than 1 cm which people are easily able to compensate for and generally don’t cause any issues. Having a leg length difference of more than 1 centimeter can cause issues with not just your lower limbs but also the rest of your body as well.  

There are 2 types of leg length discrepancies, structural and functional. A structural leg length difference refers to when there is a shortening of the bones between the hip and ankle, on one side of the body. This can occur before birth (congenital) or be acquired through trauma or surgery. A structural leg length difference can be confirmed through radiographic imaging such as X-rays. 

 A functional leg length difference refers to when there is a shortening of the leg due to muscle weakness or tightness, joint restriction, altered posture of the hip, knee or foot and neuromuscular conditions. It is important to determine if the leg length discrepancy is structural or functional as treatment varies for both. 

Cairns treatment for a leg length discrepancy depends on the severity and if it’s causing any pain or impacting on your day to day life. In most cases a heel lift or orthotic can be used as well as a number of stretches and exercises that can be prescribed. In severe cases, surgery may be required. If you have a limb length difference that isn’t significant and is not causing you any discomfort, we generally don’t treat and just monitor.

If you think you have a leg length difference it is best to see a Cairns Podiatrist. The Podiatrist will do a full biomechanical assessment including a gait analysis and can refer you for imaging to measure your leg length. We’re here to help, providing professional foot pain treatment Cairns services. Give our friendly team a call today on 4045 5759 to book your consultation. 


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