Do you suffer from Leg length discrepancy? Though a slight leg length discrepancy may not always cause noticeable problems, a significant difference in leg lengths can have a profound impact on the body’s alignment and overall function. The body naturally tries to compensate for the imbalance, leading to adjustments in posture and walking mechanics. Over time, this compensation can lead to muscle imbalances, joint strain, and increased risk of injuries in the lower back, hips, knees, and feet.
By addressing leg length discrepancy, individuals can help restore proper alignment, reduce discomfort, and mitigate long-term complications. Managing LLD is crucial not only for everyday activities but also for athletic performance, as balanced and efficient movement is essential for optimal physical function.
WHAT IS LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY?
A leg length discrepancy (LLD) exists when one leg is longer than the other with respect to the same individual. Such discrepancies are relatively common, occurring in up to 70% of the general population.
LLD may be classified as a structural or functional discrepancy, depending on the source. It is important to differentiate between the two types of LLD as their treatments differ greatly.
WHAT CAUSES STRUCTURAL LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCIES?
Structural leg length discrepancies occur when one or both bones in the leg (the femur and/or the tibia) physically measures longer than the bone(s) on the opposite side. This type of discrepancy may be congenital or can result from trauma, surgery, or degenerative disease.
Developmental Factors: In some cases, leg length discrepancy may be present from birth due to developmental abnormalities in the bones or joints.
Growth Plate Injuries: Damage to the growth plates, which are responsible for bone development, can result in unequal growth rates between the legs and subsequently lead to LLD.
Fractures and Trauma: Fractures that occur in the leg bones, particularly in the growth plates, can disturb the normal growth pattern and result in LLD.
Surgical Procedures: Surgeries involving the leg, hip, or knee can occasionally lead to leg length discrepancy, particularly if there was a need to remove or alter bone structures.
SYMPTOMS OF LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY
Symptoms vary from person to person and depend upon the type, amount, and source of the leg length discrepancy. Symptoms of LLD’s include:
- Lower back pain
- Possible hip, knee, or foot pain
- Limp or poor balance while walking
- Feeling of a constant lean to one side
- Tiring easily from long periods of walking or activity
- Frequent lower back and/ or limb injuries with no apparent cause
- Discomfort bending over or standing for long periods of time
RISK FACTORS & HOW TO AVOID DISCOMFORT
Risk factors for foot pain caused by LLD:
- Heavy lifting
- Activities that require bending, twisting, or reaching
- Poor fitting or worn out footwear
- High impact and high volume or intensity of exercise during periods of heightened symptoms
- Being overweight or obese may increase the strain on the joints and muscles in your lower back
- Stress and anxiety can play a role in heightening symptoms
- Improper lift height for structural LLD
- Using a shoe or foot lift when your LLD is actually functional
- Switching between periods of lift use and no lift use
IMAGING FOR LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCIES
Standing Block Test
A second method to measure leg length difference (LLD) is to use blocks of known height to even out the pelvis. Standing on a flat and firm surface, place the blocks under the shorter leg until feeling even and balanced. You can also use thin hardback books or tiles. Then step off the block and use a ruler to take a measurement. This amount is known as the functional leg length difference. This may be different from the actual leg length difference. It may take some trial and error for you to find the most effective shoe lift size. We recommend you consider the opinion of a medical professional along with your own analysis of your body function.
TREATMENT OF STRUCTURAL LEG LENGTH DISCREPANCY
True structural discrepancies are typically addressed using full foot lifts for the short side. Smaller discrepancies may be treated with a heel lift, but it has been found that full-length lifts are much more effective for larger discrepancies.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Chamaripa as a brand focusing on height increasing shoes for more than two decades, always pay attention to the needs of all kinds of people for shoes, provide high-end customized services, to provide a more feasible solution. Whether it is custom-made medical grade footwear, elegant and stylish custom-made fashion shoes, orthopedic or fashion sandals through to any footwear modification imaginable, we’ve got it covered.
BESPOKE SHOES FOR LEG LENGTH DIFFERENCES
“It is hard for me to find suitable shoes because I have a special situation- Misaligned Foot (different height between right and left). I ordered shoes from different shoe companies around the world, spent a large amount of money to custom make shoes but cannot meet my expectation until I found Chamaripa in 2019.
At the first time, I sent my 2 assistants to Chamaripa company to order 10 pairs of shoes for me. The quality is good but the size is not perfect. So I decided to go to their company in person, they collected my foot data and custom made the other 25 pairs. The production is complicated but they finished the shoes faster than I expected. I feel happy this time, size fits perfectly and quality is always the best. The most important thing is that people will not know the problem of my foot, they look normal.
Chamaripa team is professional, I know that they specialize in making elevator shoes for more than 26 years and they have rich experience in customizing shoes according to customers’ special requirements. If only I could have known them earlier. I will keep ordering shoes from Chamaripa.”