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How Orthotics Can Help with Leg Length Discrepancy

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There are times when you are going to find that your legs are not the same length. This can happen when you have an injury that can make you compensate more with one leg compared to the other, but some people may just find that one leg is longer than the other due to the legs not growing the same during adolescence.

This may seem like a minor problem, but when you walk with one leg longer than the other, it not only causes a limp that others may notice, it can put the rest of the body out of alignment, which can cause back pain, hip pain, and more.

Finding a good solution to handle the different lengths of your legs will make a huge difference in your level of comfort. One solution that many patients are going to choose is a pair of orthotics.

You can choose a pair that has a little lift on one side, helping to elevate the leg and make it seem better and fix the issues from the limp. Let’s take a closer look at how an orthotic will be able to help with leg length discrepancy and whether this is a solution that you should consider too.

What is Leg Length Discrepancy?

Leg Length Discrepancy, which is often known as LLD, is actually the medical term for when one leg is longer compared to the other leg. Almost everyone is going to have a slight difference between their legs, but if the difference is less than a centimeter, then it is usually not noticeable and the patient will never seek out treatment for it.

When there is a larger discrepancy than one centimeter, then the patient may start to notice a number of symptoms along the way. They may need to talk to their doctor to determine whether there is a good treatment plan to help reduce the symptoms and keep the body safe and healthy.

Functional Leg Length Discrepancy and Structural Leg Length Discrepancy

There are two types of LLD that you can deal with, structural and functional. When we talk about structural LLD, the tibia, femur, or both will be significantly different in both legs when you measure them.

Some patients will have this issue at birth. Some may have it due to a bone disease, an injury, or a surgical procedure.

There is also a functional LLD. This is where all of the bones are the same length, but there are going to be some issues with the muscles that cause a number of alignment problems, which make the legs act the same as if they were different sizes. The symptoms of both of these are going to have the same symptoms in most cases.

What are the Symptoms of Leg Length Discrepancy?

Leg Length Discrepancy, whether you are dealing with structural or functional, can cause you to have a number of different symptoms that you will need to deal with. It is common for the patient to have lower back pain or even lower leg and back injuries, without any clear cause for why they have that.

They may also find that it is hard for them to stand up straight for too long, lift objects from a lower height, or even bend over when they need to get something. On the side of the body that is impacted, it is common to feel pain in the hip, knee, or foot. You may feel like you are leaning over to one side or that you need to shift your weight to maintain balance.

It is easy to hide some of the symptoms of LLD if you are used to it being there. But since you are doing all of the overcompensation, moving or walking for longer periods of time can end up fatiguing those who have LLD in the first place.

Back Pain due to leg length discrepancy

Orthotics Can Help with Leg Length Discrepancy

When you are suffering from Leg Length Discrepancy, you may want to consider getting a pair of custom orthotics to assist. These can help in several ways to ensure that you are able to get the best results overall.

While it is possible that LLD is going to be a permanent condition that you will need to deal with, it is possible to use orthotics to correct it in the most non-invasive way, without surgery and a lot of pain. If the issue will not heal on its own, then you may be able to talk with your doctor to prescribe these insoles.

Do not choose orthotics for your LLD without talking to a doctor first. They will be able to measure them out and make sure that you are getting the perfect amount of lift, without adding too much so that the problem is simply reversed to the other leg.

Heel lifts are often used with the custom orthotic to help with the LLD. Heel lifts will simply be placed under the heel to raise it and make sure that it is level with the rest of the foot at the same time.

The type of heel lift that you go with is going to depend on the needs of the patient and how much height they are going to need in the first place. For some patients, you will need to consider getting an orthotic that helps to correct the arch in the foot.

These inserts are a bit different because they will lift up the arch, which could be flat and may be one of the original causes of your LLD. Adding in the arch support can put the foot back in alignment and solve some of the problems you have with LLD.

A third option is going to combine the two other choices together, adding a heel lift to the orthotic as well as a customized arch insert to correct fallen and flat arches as well. If you have several problems with the foot when you get the orthotics, then these may be the best choice for you.

Because there are so many causes of LLD, the shoe inserts that you choose for it will be custom and you need to work with a doctor to look over the LLD and create it for you, based on the severity of the problem. Your doctor will be able to measure the legs and check on the LLD to ensure the orthotic can actually do the work that they promise.

Leg Length Discrepancy Patients Need an Orthotic Shoe Lift

Most patients who suffer from LLD will need to get a lift added to the shoe through the orthotic. This allows the shorter leg to get lifted up to the right height, providing them support and helping solve some of the issues. But you may wonder how the lift is going to be added to the orthotic.

Depending on the lift amount that is required, it is possible that the lift is going to be added with the shoe under the orthotic or right to the middle of the shoe. Your doctor will be able to help determine which one is going to make the most sense for your needs.

It can also depend on the amount of height that you need to be added to help fix the problems with LLD. In many cases, your lift is added to a custom orthotic or the footbed of the shoe that you wear.

This will assume that the shoe has enough length and depth, the lifts up to 1 cm or so will be placed inside the shoe. This is preferable because it is hidden so no one knows that you have it and you will be able to fix the problem without bringing attention to yourself.

Orthotics for Leg Length Discrepancy

How Do I Pick the Right Orthotics for Leg Length Discrepancy?

It is best to not pick out the height of the lift on your own, even if you can tell you have LLD on your own. You should work with a doctor.

They will complete a scanogram x-ray to check the length of both legs and figure out the exact difference between the two before making the lift. This ensures that you get the right amount, without overdoing it and causing more trouble.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Leg length discrepancy (LLD) can be a frustrating issue, causing pain, gait abnormalities, and hindering your enjoyment of everyday activities. While some cases require medical intervention, Bilt Labs custom orthotics can offer significant relief and improved mobility for those experiencing mild to moderate LLD. Here's how:

  • Lift It Up: For LLD cases where one leg is shorter, Bilt Labs custom orthotics can incorporate a built-in lift specifically designed for your unique needs. This lift elevates the shorter leg, promoting proper leg alignment and reducing stress on your hips, knees, and back. The lift is seamlessly integrated into the orthotic, ensuring a comfortable and discreet solution.

  • Improved Gait and Stability: LLD can cause an uneven gait, leading to further discomfort and potential injuries. Bilt Labs custom orthotics provide targeted support and stability, encouraging a more natural walking pattern. This reduces the strain on your body and allows you to walk with greater confidence and efficiency.

  • Reduced Pain and Discomfort: The unevenness caused by LLD can lead to a variety of pain points, from hip and knee pain to lower back discomfort. Bilt Labs custom orthotics, by promoting proper alignment and reducing stress on your joints, can significantly alleviate pain and improve your overall comfort throughout the day.

  • Personalized for Your Needs: Unlike generic shoe lifts, Bilt Labs custom orthotics are crafted from impressions of your feet, ensuring a perfect fit. This personalized approach addresses your specific LLD and provides targeted support exactly where it's needed most.

It's important to note that Bilt Labs custom orthotics may not be a solution for all cases of LLD. Consulting with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment is crucial. However, for those with mild to moderate LLD, Bilt Labs orthotics can offer a non-invasive and effective way to manage the condition, improve mobility, and live an active life.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Getting a Custom Orthotic for Leg Length Discrepancy

When one leg is longer than the other, it is a good idea to find a treatment that will help fix the issue and ensure that you are able to walk normally without a limp or other problems that can harm the rest of the body. Choosing a custom orthotic that has a little lift in it, determined by your doctor, can make a world of difference and keep you safe.

Our team is happy to work with you on leg length discrepancy and will be able to discuss the different treatment options that may be effective for your feet. We can answer your questions and show you just how custom orthotics will help to solve the problem for you.

Take our free analysis to help determine what type of orthotics will be best for you. If you have decided that a pair of custom orthotics makes the most sense for your feet, give us a call or leave your information so we can provide you with the relief that you deserve. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.