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October 01, 2013
A short leg by any other name – leg length inequality, lower limb discrepancy, leg length discrepancy – is still a short leg!

Short leg…that’s the easiest term to remember for this condition, one that finds a person with a shorter leg on one side than the other. Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers finds this in people from all walks of life with all types of issues. Chiropractors are trained to find these types of issues! So how does this occur and why should it be addressed? Read on.

How does a short leg occur?

Short leg may be found in children and adults. Each is considered a bit differently. In children, it may be found to be congenital due to underdeveloped bones or other conditions like infection or tumor. In adults, other factors may be at play. Just recently, two new research papers document two root causes to consider: total hip replacement and osteoarthritic knee pain. So new hips and worn-out knees may affect leg length!


  • Researchers suggest that a new hip addresses hip alignment issues that were there before the total hip replacement surgery, but that any leg length discrepancies remaining after the hip replacement needs to be addressed for the best heal. (1)
  • Then there is the osteoarthritic knee. Its pain will be greatest on the side of a short leg. At least that is what researchers found by observing 23 out of 32 patients who reported the most severe pain on that side. (2) 

So let Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers find your short leg be it from a knee or hip problem. Your hip and your knee – as well as your back! - will be so glad you did!

How is a short leg discovered?

Chiropractors look at the whole person when seeking a reason for pain. Functional, mechanical, chemical can all be reasons for back pain and leg pain. So during a chiropractic examination at Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers, our patients undergo a thorough series of tests that includes a visual inspection of the iliac crests, the top of the hip bones, to see if they are level when standing flat footed. If there’s a discrepancy, your Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers chiropractor may order an xray to confirm it. Simple enough!


What is the treatment for a Baton Rouge short leg?

Some people with a leg length inequality suffer with back pain. People with slight short leg differences may walk around and not even know it, unless it is pain-producing. True for you? When we humans hurt, we seek help, and Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers is here to help. Your Baton Rouge chiropractor will determine the discrepancy and that it’s a true discrepancy, not because of any other easily addressable reason. A heel lift for inside the shoe or a whole insole lift may be recommended. We’ll work together to correct the inequality which may be incremental with a smaller lift now and work into the full amount.

So trust Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers with your short leg. We can diagnose it and treat it with lifts as well as chiropractic care, especially when the short leg leaves you with back pain. So contact Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers today if you have back pain or had a total hip replacement or have osteoarthritic knee pain, and we’ll check your leg length to see if it’s the pain-producing culprit.