Limb length discrepancy: symptoms, diagnostics, treatment


Limb length discrepancy is a conditional pathology. This is a broad concept relevant to the aspects of medicine, genetics, orthopedics and cosmetology.

Is limb length discrepancy a deformation, a pathology or norm?

Whatever the reason, the disproportion of the limbs can be noticed visually with the naked eye. There are three body types:

  • balanced build;
  • long legs and a short torso;
  • short legs and a long torso.

These constitutions are formed in the stage of evolution. For example, the inhabitants of Africa have long legs for good heat emission, and the inhabitants of the northern regions have the opposite peculiarities. It is short legs that often lead to psychological complexes, even though they can be considered as kind of ordinary.

Limb length discrepancy is a pathology when one leg is 2 cm or more longer than the other. This is not only an aesthetic problem, but a defect fraught with serious consequences.

The causes of limb length discrepancy

If evolution and anatomical features are not taken into account, the causes of imbalance lie in various diseases:

  • hereditary or intrauterine malformations of bone tissue;infections (tuberculosis, syphilis) and
  • osteomyelitis (bone inflammation);
  • injuries and fractures;
  • pathologies of the pelvis and spine;
  • dyschondroplasia (congenital incomplete ossification of cartilage);
  • diseases of nerve endings, vessels and muscles.

Such cases of limb length discrepancy are in fact deformations of the entire musculoskeletal system which require mandatory treatment.

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Первые признаки серьезной диспропорции возникают в детстве. Если у ребенка не заметить вовремя аномалию, он начинает хромать. Диспропорция конечностейдеформация, которая влияет на весь опорно-двигательный аппарат:

  • меняется походка;
  • искривляется таз;
  • возникает сколиотическая осанка;
  • суставы и кости неравномерно получают нагрузку, болят.

Когда фигура меняется, увеличивается риск переломов и падений, что ведет к новым травмам и последствиям.

How to identify it

Full-fledged diagnostics include, first of all, full-length X-ray of the legs. When performing the test, additional calculations are required to determine the exact degree of damage. In case when limb length discrepancy is diagnosed, surgery is prescribed. For accurate calculations of bone angles and leg modeling before the surgical manipulation, CT and MRI are used.

Is it possible to live with it?

If one can still live a full life with anatomically short legs, the diagnosis of limb imbalance is a serious problem. In addition to psychological complexes, there are difficulties in movement – a person is limping, legs get tired, the spine becomes curved.

Soon, severe pain that interferes with normal activity occurs. Therefore, patients need to undergo surgery to correct their legs.

Preventive measures
Limb length discrepancy is a conditional patology

As limb length discrepancy is a conditional pathology, no preventive measures exist to avoid it. The cases of genetic diseases or injuries that cause different length of the limbs can’t be predicted. It is also impossible to pass tests for all genetic pathologies during pregnancy.

Low height

In case of low height, you can try to increase it by doing exercises on the horizontal bar. However, this won’t particularly affect the legs, and won’t cause a visible effect as well.

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Our doctors use unique methods of treatment introduced by Veklich V.V.

Founder/Chief surgeon

The founder of “Ladisten” medical center of orthopedics and traumatology Veklich Vitaliy Viktorovich is a surgeon in the field of orthopedics and traumatology for children and adults who has been practicing for more than 40 years. Author of the modified external fixation devices – the Veklich devices.

Work experience: 40 years

Doctor of Medicine, anesthesiologist

Work experience: 27 years
Head doctor, orthopedic and traumatic surgeon

Head doctor of the Ladisten Clinic Medical Center, a professional certified surgeon in the field of pediatric and adult orthopedics and traumatology.

Work experience: 15 years

На подготовительном этапе операции врачи моделируют будущую форму и длину конечностей, определяют расчетным путем, сколько сантиметров нужно прибавить, чтобы достичь анатомических пропорций. Обговариваются нюансы и проводятся дополнительные обследования. До операции пациент пребывает в клинике 2-3 дня. 


Спустя 5-7 месяцев после операции, снимают аппарат фиксации Веклича. Диагноз диспропорция конечностей сходит на нет, человек остается здоровым даже через годы после вмешательства!


The head of Ladisten Clinic, Veklich Vitaliy Viktorovich, is a unique orthopedist and traumatologist who deserves a monument to be put in his lifetime. He is an attentive and sensitive person. Everyone from the nursing staff was friendly and attentive. I would like to mention several nurses who know their job – they are Oksana and Galina Anatoliivna. Food was the same level as in the best restaurant. In general, the atmosphere in the clinic really helps to recover. Thank you, my dear, for everything you have done.

patient's mom