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Leg Length Difference


abakker
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So, after experiencing some back pain, i finally went to the doctor today and had xrays done of my lower back and pelvis. to my surprise i found that i my left leg is shorter by 1.2 cm. so, now i need to have a heel lift in all my shoes to prevent back pain.

the question is, do i get shims/orthodics in my boots, or do i just make up the difference by using the longer screws on my cateks.

the pro of using the cateks is that i don't need to remold the thermofit, but arguably, this is a less than desirable fix.

any input either way? anyone else have this problem?

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Is the femur actually shorter ie was it broken at some point? this would be an anotomical short leg.

If its a functional short leg it is caused by torsion in the pelvis and is easily fixed by a good chiropractor.

A lift should only be worn if its after a new break healed etc. a long term anatomical short leg is already compensated for in your spine and the lift will cause more pain.

It is most likely (by your brief description) a posterior inferior illium on the short leg side. easily fixed and no changing of your gear or set up.

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the xray showed that my hip was off level by 1.2 cm, lower on the left side. it showed my back out of alignment coming from my SI joint, and to compensate, the doctor prescribed a heel lift on my left leg to level it out.

the reason for my doctors visit was long term discomfort on the left side of my SI joint.

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I actually know somebody who is in the process of lengthening one of his legs. It's not cosmetic though... He broke a knee a few years ago dirtbiking. When it healed, the one leg was considerably shorter than the other. So now they're doing basically that process, except its' with screws and stuff inside the bone, not a rack outside.

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abakker, You might get some other opinions before adding lift in your shoes to compensate for, what sounds like, a body alignment issue. It sounds like your legs are the same length, you are just favoring one side and pulling up one side through your hips and into your back. A good bodyworker / PT / chiro might be able to actually help with the root cause of the misalignment.

I believe Mike T just went through this, hopefully he will chime in on this thread, otherwise you might PM him.

Take care,

Buell

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This is a timely question. I just discovered that my left leg is shorter than the right. The difference is only 3mm but adding that much lift reduces the severe canting problem caused by three surgeries on the right knee. The right foot is 5 1/2 degrees out of whack (inward). With the lifter on the left boot, the correction for the right drops to 3 1/2 degrees. I'm getting fitted for new plug race boots that will be extensively modified to offset the deformation. I'm hoping this will reduce my "A framing" while ski racing.

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The thought occurred to me that my riding is probably being similarly affected. I primarily ride a Volkl 168 RennTiger GS board with Burton Physic bindings and am clueless about optimum stance angles, canting, and corrections for my knee problem. John Gilmour was going to try to set up a "dialed-in clinic" in Connecticut a couple years ago but it didn't happen. Does anyone knows if he plans to doing something like that in the future? I'd offer our shop in Berlin, CT to host it if it can be arranged.

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abakker, You might get some other opinions before adding lift in your shoes to compensate for, what sounds like, a body alignment issue. It sounds like your legs are the same length, you are just favoring one side and pulling up one side through your hips and into your back. A good bodyworker / PT / chiro might be able to actually help with the root cause of the misalignment.

I believe Mike T just went through this, hopefully he will chime in on this thread, otherwise you might PM him.

Take care,

Buell

Yep, I will chime in sometime tyhis weekend. Work is crazy today so no time. for more than two sentences...

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I have the same thing, my left leg is 1.5 cm shorter than the right one.

I wear a heel lift (5-7 mm) that a put in my shoe, ski boot, winter boot ,skate, ...

Guess what, when i'm trying new shoes, skates, boots,... I always try the left foot first.

Also, guess way i'm better in turning when ice skating or rollerskating !

Order at least 2 or 3 heel lifts, once you're used to it (the first days your leg will hurt because of the new muscles being at work), you will not want to wear a shoe, boot, skate, ... without the heel lift.

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After re-reading your original post, my situation and yours are probably different.

My leg length difference is/was more functional than structural. I seem to have several things going on - overdeveloped psoas on both sides (probably from the way I ride more than anything), and a TFL (tensor fascia latae, sp?) on the right side that is trying to do the job of a few others muscles.... twisted pelvis, and a twisted mid-back, top of the lumbar region, apparently a spot that is not usually out of alignment. I've been told previously that it is a structural difference but a lot of bodywork over the summer and fall and a daily dose of Egoscue method "exercises" (some of it is very passive, lying on back with legs propped up, to get ceryain muscles to relax) every morning seems to be re-educating the involved muscles to behave normally enough to even things out. That and I have a TON more flexibility through the whole pelvic area.

Chirpractics only seemed to make it worse, my muscles seemed to say

"f**k you" to being led around through adjustments. Maybe I am just the kind of person who needs to heal from within, maybe my chiropractors have all sucked, or maybe it wasn't the right treatment. Getting them to relax and then re-educating them has been the trick, and doing the Egoscue daily, though time consuming, has been a big part of that.

My functioanl differences have been with me for years. I am not saying they are gone but they are much less intense now.

I really cannot wait to see how my riding changes.

But if you've had an x-ray that says you have a structural difference, nothing that's happened to me applies to you...

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