Short Leg Syndrome

Low back pain can be caused by an anatomically short leg. This happens when one leg is longer than the other. Perhaps it grew longer than the other side or a broken bone healed longer or shorter than the other side. Sometimes if the patient has a prosthesis this can cause one side to be a different length than the other leg. Another cause can be a hip or knee replacement resulting in different leg lengths. Whatever the cause the result is a difference in leg length from the opposite side. Since your legs support your pelvis this will cause your pelvis to be unlevel when standing. Your vertebrate will not have a level base so they will start to curve or rotate. The end result is abnormal weight distribution and abnormal forces on the knee, hip, sacroiliac and spinal vertebrae. This can cause pain and inflammation in any of these areas. Diagnosis is made by taking an x-ray in the standing position, while weight bearing, to evaluate any postural changes related to a difference in leg length. Treatment consist of putting a lift in the patients shoe or adding height to the outside of the heel. The decision to use a lift should not be taken lightly. The lift has to be worn all the time. The patient can’t wear it one day and not the next day. However a lift can go a long way towards dealing with back pain that never seems to stay away completely.