LLD: Leg Length Discrepancy
The importance of keeping your pelvis level
This article cites 27 references.
One test we do on every patient on every office visit is to check to see if there is a LLD (Leg Length Discrepancy) or what we sometimes call it a “short leg”. The patient is lying face down for this test. The test is a crucial component of understanding pelvic, hip, low back and leg position. If there is a difference between the left and right leg, it is noted, and muscle work or adjustments are performed to correct the imbalance. Here’s some background on the importance of this test:
- CAUSES of LLD:
- Functional: Soft tissue muscle contraction, muscle de-activation, foot pronation, foot imbalance, pelvic imbalance and rotation lumbar vertebra and scoliosis.
- Structural: Femur or lumbar and pelvis bones that are uneven.
- HOW MUCH shorter is important: Why more than ½” difference is critical.
- As little as 3/8” short on one side leads to knee pain and increases arthritis on that knee
- 3/4”+ leads to pain and arthritis in both knees
- 73% of stress fractures occur in the longer limb
- Patients requiring total hip replacements had hip arthritis in the long leg
- RUNNING with a short leg:
- Significant compensation and injury can occur from the foot to the pelvis and low back.
- TESTING for a short leg:
- 3 orthopedic tests can evaluate the problem effectively.
- Specific X-Rays are required to determine if there are uneven bones.
- CORRECTING a short leg: Proper diagnosis is the key.
- Adjustments and muscle work can usually retrain and maintain balance.
- Children under the age of 15 with LLD can be corrected by monitoring them every 3-6 months and making the appropriate corrections.
- A heel lift or full lengths lifts on one side can help, BUT NOT ALWAYS!
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