Leg Length Discrepancy or limb discrepancy is a condition where one leg is longer than the other.
When leg length discrepancy is up to 1,4 cm, a pair of insoles, where the one will be thicker than the other, will eliminate the difference of length while standing or walking.
When the discrepancy is between 1,5 and 3 cm, a single insole will give us the balance we need.
Leg length discrepancy may be structural or functional.
Structural (anatomical) discrepancy means that one limb is shorter than the other. This can occur due to the assymetry of a bone (either the femur (thighbone) or the tibia (shinbone). Structural discrepancy may be either genetical or an acquired condition. For example, it may occur after a broken bone that didn’t heal correctly, after bone infection, after a bone disease or dysplasia, or hip arthroplasty.
Functional discrepancy, on the other hand, is a result of muscle weakness or an upslip or anterior rotation at the pelvis.
In the majority of people (about 70% of the population), their two legs do not have exactly the same length. But when the discrepancy is miniscule, it doesn’t affect everyday life, so the person usually does not even notice it. However, in some cases of minor discrepancy, people fail to recognize it. This way, they may suffer from back or hip pain and not know the real cause of it.
When the length discrepancy is bigger (usually more than 0,5 cm), the natural standing and walking position is altered. At the same time, various parts of the body are affected, such as the knees and the spine. People with limb length discrepancies are more likely to experience low back pain and are more susceptible to injury.