One Leg Longer than the Other?

Have you noticed that your pants always fit a little weird or that you are always leaning to one leg when standing for awhile? If so, one of your legs may be longer than the other. This is known as a leg length discrepancy.

 

There are two main reasons for a leg length discrepancy. One reason is that one of your leg bones (tibia or femur) is longer on one side. This is referred to as a true leg length discrepancy because the actual length of your bones is different. A second reason is that your pelvic bone may be rotated on one side making it appear that one leg is longer than the other. This is referred to as an apparent leg length discrepancy because the actual length of your leg bones is not different. In order to figure out if you have a true or apparent leg length discrepancy, your doctor may take an x-ray to measure the length of your leg bones or a simple measurement from your belly button to your ankle can help determine the reason.

 

Over time, the leg length difference can cause stress on your low back, hips and knees, which may cause pain or discomfort.

 

How to fix the issue:

You may be prescribed a heel lift, which will equal out your leg length and decrease stress on your low back and legs. If it’s your pelvis causing the leg length discrepancy, then your physical therapist could use your muscles to realign your pelvis and then strengthen your core/abdominal region to minimize the risk of such malalignment happening again.

 

If you think that one leg may be longer than the other and it is causing you to have pain or you are just curious, then call your local Sports PT facility and make an appointment with a physical therapist.