Limb Length Difference


A difference in the length of the bones between your legs can happen for a variety of reasons.

  • Growth plate trauma
  • Muscle imbalance
  • Muscle tightness
  • Scoliosis
  • Hip tilt
  • Genetic conditions
  • Surgery
  • Natural asymmetry

This results in either a structural difference in the length of the bones. Or from soft tissue restrictions/tightness that cause the shortening of one limb compared to the other.

This causes changes to the way we walk and increased impact pressure to the joints of the body.

As a result, you may experience pain to various areas of your body including your: Back, Hip, Feet, Knees, Shoulder, Neck, and may cause Headaches. The symptoms can very significantly because the body has to alter its natural movement pattern to accommodate for this difference.

Limb length difference is easily observed by the trained eye and can be confirmed with imaging if needed. Podiatrists trained in this area will review you both standing and lying flat.

Treatment for this condition usually consists of an in-shoe raise or soft orthotic (innersole).

In significant limb inequality sometimes an external shoe modification is required to equalise the limbs. However in most simple cases this can be avoided.

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