Many people across the world are suffering from the leg length discrepancy or LLD. Leg Length discrepancy or short leg syndrome means one leg is a bit longer than the other one. Mostly it is caused by the joint irregularities, broken bones or unequal bone lengths. So, to undergo the right treatment, it is very important you understand the leg length discrepancy symptoms and how it must be treated by consulting the experts.
Leg length discrepancy or LLS will range from being normal to highly significant problem that depends upon an actual discrepancy. The common difference between unequal lengths is 1cm & 4cm and if the discrepancy is higher, then it will have more adverse effects on the person. The serious effect can be one side of your body growing a bit faster than other, called as hemihypertrophy. So, it becomes very important that you consult the professional at the earliest.
What causes LLD?
There’re a lot of causes for the leg length discrepancy, so will divide it in three main categories: first is causing limb to shorten, second causing this to lengthen and third caused by the issue above legs or tilt in a pelvis.
The common among all three is shorten the leg than that lengthen it & comprise of congenital growth deficiencies like genetic issues that can affect a person’s growth, any infections that can affect their growth plate, fractures at the growth plate, tumors, as well as radiation in the cancer treatment.
If a person has a slight tilt in the pelvis or other trouble within their spine that can cause their leg to look longer or shorter at any one side then it’s considered as the functional LLD & not the “true” LLD.
Symptoms of leg length discrepancy to look at
As our bodies react differently to the leg length discrepancies, the symptoms might vary too. But, it is very important that you keep proper check and common symptoms are:
- Problems in posture. It can include rotating your leg when walking, toe-walking and limping.
- Experience pain in the knee, ankle, hip, and back.
- Differences in the leg length. Whereas a discrepancy isn’t obvious, but when you know discrepancy, you must consult the physician immediately.
Right Treatment Plan
Treatment will be based on how much is the difference in the leg length when a child grows up:
- Differences of one inch might need a lift in the shoe
- Half inch differences generally don’t need any treatment
- Differences above 2.5 inches require the lengthening treatment. Short bone has to be cut and external device will be applied. Slowly lengthening will be done in months to let the muscles & nerves to feel the new change in the length.
- Differences of two inches might need epiphysiodesis (it is adjusting the growth) or it can be acute shortening of your other leg