The effect of leg length inequality on joint contact forces of lower limbs during walking

Acta Bioeng Biomech. 2019;21(1):55-62.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the joint contact forces (JCF) between each limb as the LLD magnitude increases during walking activity.

Methods: Eighteen male healthy subjects volunteered to participate in the experiment. Walking gait analysis was conducted with eight different levels of insole to simulate the LLD, starting from 0 cm until 4.0 cm with 0.5 cm increment. Qualisys Track Manager System and C-motion Visual 3D biomechanical tools were used to analyse the results. Four joints (ankle, knee, hip, and pelvis) of lower limb of two legs were investigated. The increment of insoles was placed on the right leg to represent the long leg.

Results: The results suggest that the mean contact forces for all joints in the short leg were increased as the increment level increased. On the contrary, the mean contact forces in the long leg decreased when the LLD level increased. Among these four joints, JCF in hip shows a positive increment based on the ASI value. Means that hip shows the most affected joint as the LLD level increase.

Conclusions: The result obtained in this study might help clinicians treat patients with a structural LLD for treatment plan including surgical intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle / physiopathology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiopathology*
  • Knee / physiopathology
  • Leg Length Inequality / physiopathology*
  • Lower Extremity / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Motion
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Young Adult