Science In Brief

Chiropractic Literature Review


The Study:   Truncal changes in children with mild limb length inequality: a surface topography study.


The Facts:

a. Leg length inequality (LLI) can cause scoliosis.

b. There has not been a lot of study of the spinal changes brought on by mild LLI in children.

c. Subjects were 20 children from a scoliosis clinic.

d. They looked at the LLI in relation to pelvic and spinal posture.

e. They used a 4D Formetric DIERS which is a device that looks at surface topography.

f. The device uses a light projector coupled with a camera to analyze the posterior spine and pelvis while the patient is in the standing position and this is also done in the lateral view.

g. The LLI was statistically significantly correlated to the 4DF reading of pelvis rotation, pelvic tilt (pelvic obliquity), and surface rotation.”

h. Scoliometer readings (trunk rotation and/or coronal plane inclination) was significantly associated with Pelvic tilt as measured using the 4DF device.

Take Home:

Leg length inequality is statistically associated with scoliosis as well as other postural abnormalities.

Reviewer's Comments:

I think almost all of the readers of this column knew that when you have LLI it will affect the spine and pelvis. This is basically a study of how posture is affected by LLI. In essence it shows that structural changes in one area (i.e. LLI) affect other areas and that is an important consideration for the clinician.

Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC


Editor’s Comments: many of us were taught in chiropractic college that “anatomical short legs” (i.e. LLI) were somewhat of a rarity. They are in fact extremely common. In my own clinical experience, correction of an associated LLI using a heel/shoe lift proved to be one of the most effective things I could do for young, scoliotic patients. I encourage standing, radiographic measurement to detect leg length inequality. I think the results will be well worth the small effort involved.


Editor: Mark R. Payne DC


Reference: Grivas TB, Angouris K, Chandrinos M, Kechagias V. Truncal changes in children with mild limb length inequality: a surface topography study. Scoliosis Spinal Disord. 2018 Dec 18;13:27. doi: 10.1186/s13013-018-0173-z. eCollection 2018.


Link to Abstract:

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