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Perception of imposed leg length inequality in normal subjects

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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


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
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
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:21 Feb 2011 16:44

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