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Perception of imposed leg length inequality in normal subjects

O’Brien, Seamus, Kernohan, George, Fitzpatrick, Claire, Hill, Janet and Beverland, David (2010) Perception of imposed leg length inequality in normal subjects. Hip International, 20 . pp. 505-511. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.hip-int.com/public/hip/Article/Articleabstract.aspx?UidArticle=04F08748-EE47-4DA2-9E76-54326D5BFECF&t=hip

Abstract

Lower limb length differences of up to 10mm exist in 60% - 95% of the population.There are usually no symptoms or functional effects. Following Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA), satisfactory clinical results can be spoiled by dissatisfaction due to a change in leg length. Although the change in leg length may be modest in comparison to the normal variation, the patient may perceive this as a leg length discrepancy. To study the average threshold for perception, artificial leg length discrepancies of 5 mm to 25 mm were created in 30 young healthy adults using calibrated wooden blocks. Responses were recorded and analysed using a chi-squared test for independence and an independent measures t-test. Awareness of leg length discrepancy was related to the magnitude of the discrepancy (X2 (15)= 156.6, p<0.05 on the right side, and X2 (15)= 178.725 p<0.05 on the left side). It was shown that no subject reported a 5mm increase in leg length to be uncomfortable while all subjects were aware of leg length discrepancies of 20 mm and 25 mm. When there was a discrepancy of 10 mm in either lower limb, 29 out of 30 subjects (96.7%) thought there was a difference in leg length. Consequently it is suggested that during total hip arthroplasty the surgeon should aim for a leg length discrepancy of less than 10 mm.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Leg length discrepancy, Total hip arthroplasty
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Managing Chronic Illness
ID Code:17013
Deposited By: Professor George Kernohan
Deposited On:01 Feb 2011 09:07
Last Modified:09 Dec 2015 10:53

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