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Leg (Limb) Length Discrepancy (LLD)
guygimpy posted:
Ever since I was a teen-ager I have had low back pain. When I was in my 20s I saw a M.D. who said my legs were different lengths and he referred me to an Orthopedist. Being a poor graduate student with no insurance, I did to make an appointment to see the Ortho. Now, I am in my late 40s and the pain has become unbearable. I went a Chiropractor this morning and he took a couple xrays and examined me. He said one of my legs was shorter then the other and thus effecting my hips, effecting my back. He told me the pain would not go away until I addressed the LLD, which sounded reasonable. He said my right leg was a full 1 inch shorter then the left. I know this to be true because when I stand my left leg holds my weight and my right leg balances me. He suggested a build-up shoe versus an insert.

Does this sound reasonable? To be honest, I have not made my mind up about Chiropractors.
davedsel57 responded:
Hello, and welcome.

I am an advocate for chiropractic adjustments if they help relieve pain, but only after a full set of diagnostics has been done and an accurate diagnosis from a spine specialist has been formulated.

Please read the Tip I created at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community that lists the recommended steps for getting back pain diagnosed and treated. You will want to start with your primary doctor and then see several orthopedic specialists in your area for opinions. While what the chiropractor is suggesting does seem reasonable to me, chiropractors are not medical doctors and really are not fully qualified to diagnose spinal issues. You need more than x-rays for an accurate diagnosis - you need an MRI or CT scan of your spine.

I pray you can get the diagnosis, treatment and relief you need soon. Please come back and update us after you have a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story. Blessings, -Dave
bj1208 responded:
hi as Dave said read his notes that are posted at the beginning of this forum - they are very informative -

Before having chiropractic and/or physical therapy treatments it is wise to see either an Orthopedic Spine Specialist or a Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist - an MRI of your spine needs to be done - once that is done the spine specialist can let you know what the best treatment options are -

As a note, there are a lot of people out there that do have a leg shorter than the other - so I would discuss this with the spine specialist too -

as for insurance problems - see if there is a teaching college around - they sometimes give free treatment and/or reduced fees based on your income - you can also call around to places and find out who does give care for reduced prices -

another option is to check out Medicaid and/or Medicare - they can let you know if you qualify.

please let us know what you find out -

take care - Joy
Ari Ben-Yishay, MD responded:
you should have your leg length discrepancy measured accurately with an xray via an orthopaedists office.I 1 inch difference is significant and could possibly be the cause or at least contributing to back pain. I agree with the Chiro that a lift placed under the shoe is the way to go, NOT AN INSERT as 1 inch is too much to correct this way. An good orthopaedist can also do a "block test" and see what height straightens out your pelvis. try some PT as well for your back if its not better with the lift.
Dr Ben Yishay

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