Clinical symptoms and biomechanics of lumbar spine and hip joint in leg length inequality

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1983 Sep;8(6):643-51. doi: 10.1097/00007632-198309000-00010.


A simple and reliable low dose radiologic method developed by the author was used to measure leg length inequality of 798 patients with chronic and therapy resistant low-back and/or unilateral hip symptoms and 359 symptom free subjects. Statistically highly significant correlations of the symptoms and leg length inequality were observed. In the majority (79 and 89%), the chronic or recurrent sciatic pain and unilateral hip symptoms occurred on the side of the longer lower extremity. When correcting the leg length inequality simply with an adequate shoe lift, a permanent and mostly complete alleviation of symptoms was achieved in the majority of the cases. The unilateral symptoms associated with mostly unrecognized leg length inequality of 5 to 25 mm were, at least in part, due to the biomechanical responses, like bending and rotational forces, needed for compensation of the lateral imbalance caused by leg length inequality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Back Pain / therapy
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Leg Length Inequality / physiopathology*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Posture
  • Rotation
  • Sciatica / etiology*
  • Sciatica / therapy
  • Shoes
  • Spinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Stress, Mechanical