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One leg shorter than other-

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by FrogFeathers, Jul 21, 2009.

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  1. FrogFeathers

    FrogFeathers Post-Grad

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    This was brought up to me from an online acquaintance and I've seen it mentioned here a couple times.

    Is one leg being shorter than the other a common thing? Do I bring this up to my surgeon (follow-up on September 3rd) or my GP (VA hospital, had no involvement in my knee replacement other than to string me along for three painful years before giving me authorization to see the off-site doctor- I have my yearly check-up on August 13th).

    When I do walk (like those two times I've walked a mile), I get tired, but not on the surgical leg. Usually its my hip in the other leg. When I was pregnant with my third child (16 years ago), she pinched my sciatic nerve and it caused me some lower back and right-side hip discomfort. Fast-forward a year later, I was in a rather bad car accident. The chiropractor I ended up seeing (three times a week for several months) fixed an alignment issue that took care of that problem. I rarely had a problem with that hip or my lower back. But, now it seems to be happening more often. That's when the "one leg shorter" thing was mentioned.
     
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    It might be possible that your body is still working out its alignment. Have you thought about seeing a chiropractor?

    Or you may tire because of a gait issue that you are not aware of. If you still see your PT, ask him to check it. Then if it still bothers you by the time you see your surgeon next, have a chat with him.
     
  3. Motherofmany

    Motherofmany Graduate

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    Frog,

    It wouldn't hurt to mention it at both appointments. Interesting to see their points of view. I would start making a list of things to ask your surgeon as issues come up, then you don't forget while you are there.

    When I first start walking after sitting or laying down, I have quite a limp due to stiffness. When I limp, I have hip and lower back pain. My legs are still the same length, I think/hope.

    I was reminded today to never let anyone see you limp from the water aerobics instructor who had both her knees done. I needed to hear that to make myself consentrate on walking erect with heal toe again and not rocking when I walk. She also told me to stretch the leg out straight and point the toes upward before getting out of bed each morning. This was a good tip I thought and will try it tomorrow morning. See if it works.
     
  4. FrogFeathers

    FrogFeathers Post-Grad

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    I'm done with PT, its all up to me now. :wink:

    And I'm a student doctor's worst nightmare- I make lists, I bring them to my appointment and I ask questions. They almost hate me up at the VA. :D

    I also now have to make lists when I go to the grocery store because I have to focus so much on my walking that I forget things if I don't have it written down. :hehe:

    I was told by the PT to call if I had any concerns, so if the hip thing gets worse before my August 13th appointment, I will definitely call them.
     
  5. Texas

    Texas Alpha

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    Hey Frog. Honestly before my surgery My opposite hip hurt so bad, I though after surgery it would go away...It didnt for awhile. I did see a chirop. and he said that was true one was longer then the other because of the walking funny for so long, I think the pelvis something was out/ dont hold me to that but it was something to do with walking funny that did it. . He pulled and did something and I have never had a problem since. And if it starts hurting again I will go right back. And have him do it again. It was so nice not to hurt again.But its been at least 1 1/2 mths and its fine. Just a thought..I hope you can get relief soon...........
     
  6. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    All that's been said is quite correct. And people tend to forget there are two kinds of alignment. One is the apparent leg length discrepancy where you are actually okay skeletally but stand or walk with the pelvis tilted or inflammation and such-like can pull things out of true so one leg seems shorter than the other. And then there's the actual leg length discrepancy where the bones of the legs are not equal in length. Most people have some degree of the apparent lld which can also come and go, be worse one day than the next, etc. the actual lld is not so common.
     
  7. cripplenomore

    cripplenomore Junior Member

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    I had my 4-week checkup (after LTKR) yesterday, and found out that my left leg is now 3/4 inch longer than my right leg! I knew it - I felt it myself but my OS confirmed it. I had been walking funny - my left leg was bowing out, and I was dragging my left foot. I really didn't have any pain from it, but it was quite evident. So, he prescribed special shoes that will raise my right leg the 3/4 inch to even them up. He's worried that if I don't get the shoes, I will strain the inside ligaments of my left operated leg, and he'll have to go in and repair it later!!! I said I will be happy to wear any funky, weird shoes he wants if I can avoid any more surgery. I'll keep you all informed how that works out.
    Thanks, Paula :sct:
     
  8. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    Good luck with the orthotics, Paula! Think positive!!! :)
     
  9. calling_all_angels

    calling_all_angels Alpha

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    Paula,
    So happy to hear that shoes can make everthing better. I will be quite interested to hear how it works. My left leg seems to be alittle taller but I am still so swollen from the MUA that PT said that could be what the problem is. So I will be excited to see how it will work for you.
     
  10. cripplenomore

    cripplenomore Junior Member

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    I went yesterday to be fitted for my new shoes. Turns out I will be getting a lift attached to regular shoes, instead of needing totally custom shoes. I should have them by this Saturday. I got a pair of sneakers and a pair of regular shoes, so I should be set for a while. My PT is waiting for me to get them before taking me off the walker completely. Hopefully this will help with my gait and walking in general. Will keep you posted! Thanks, Paula :wink:
     
  11. Motherofmany

    Motherofmany Graduate

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    Paula, Sounds wonderful. Hope this works and improves your gait! Should be much more stable walking and help with hip pain.

    Frog...you've been awful quiet, you okay? Just thinking about you.
     
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