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Old 11-25-2003, 11:07 AM   #1
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Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Help me somebody!!! I know I have seen posts by Cinderella, Plymouth & Bikerchick regarding this problem and I'd like to see if any of you or any others can help me out. One orthopedic dr. told me that my right leg is shorter than the left by 1 1/2 in. and a second orthopedic said it was more like just 1 inch.

Well, I had a simple 1/2 in. heel lift made that I wear in my shoe and I have been using it for about a month. It's the kind that is only for under my heel; it does not go to the base of my toes like Plymouth said (in a different thread) a heel lift should. I have had just some relief of the pain in my entire right leg because before the lift it was starting to get real bad but the pain isn't completely gone or even gone enough to not need medication. And the pain around my knee, hip, buttocks and right quadrant area is still just as bad as before.

I read that a member said something about her pain is like a dagger stuck in her SI joint and I guess that's what my right quad. pain feels like (only I'm not real positive where the SI joint is??). I've always told drs that it feels like a knife is in that area. I have found things on the internet that have shown pictures of the pain zones for problems with Iliopsoas and Quadratus Lumborum and these are some of the areas where I hurt.

I've been trying to get to Physical Therapy. At my last appt. they used the Tens machine, I believe is what it's called, where they put those sticker things on your pain areas and then turn on the stimulator machine. Well, I think the PT put the stickers on the exact areas because as I was laying on my left side and the stickers were on my right, my whole right hip would totally move forward when the machine got to the highest level. My exact side pain was replicated for a couple seconds as it was on it's highest level and I would think, "I can't take this" but then it would drop back down and I'd be fine til the next "contraction".

PT is having me do stomach tightening exercises and stretches since my right leg is extremely tight. After I stretch it I have to slowly get it back to a resting position because it hurts too much. I also have to do this after I've been sitting Indian style for any length of time...I have to get up and straighten my leg real slow because it's so stiff. I used to be very limber and this whole situation with my leg is so different to me.

The PT also told me that my pelvis keeps being rotated but even after they try to correct it, by my next appt. it's back to being crooked again. A chiropractor told me that I have mild scoliosis and I don't know for me, which came first. I've also been told that I was born with this weird thing in my right hip area (forget what he called it) and the chiro thought that could be the reason for the leg difference.

If I stand in front of a mirror naked, I can totally see the difference in, excuse me here, my vagina and from behind, my butt cheeks. My right side for front & back are lower! If I put a shoe on with the heel lift then look in the mirror, it's pretty close to being normal. But right now I still have the 1/2 in. lift and I'm waiting to get the full 1 in. lift made so with that one it should be perfectly even.

I get more pain when I sit for longer periods of time...like now, I keep having to change my postion from right buttcheek to left buttcheek, and also if I stand for long periods of time my leg will start throbbing and aching or burning and I will feel the right side pain more pronounced. And I absolutely cannot lay or sleep on my right side.

Anyway, what I would like to know from any of you, is this:

1. Am I messing myself up by not having the heel lift that goes to my toes?
2. Do you think I could be having myofascial pain in my right quad. area?
3. What can be done to keep my pelvis in the proper place?
4. Is there anything else that Phys. Therapy should be having me do?
5. What if I wear the correct shape & size heel lift but still don't get better?
Is there other tests that can be done or should I just go back to the super
nice orthopedic dr?

Basically, if anyone has any input for me, I will appreciate it. I don't know why it took til I was 40 to find all this out...I never had any problems or pain as I was growing up & playing sports! I do walk with an exaggerated wiggle though...the boys in school used to always tease me about it! I want to thank those who read this super long (boring) post of mine and hopefully down the road now that I'll be posting here, I can be of some help to someone also.

Take care and thanks again! ddanna

 
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Old 11-29-2003, 07:41 AM   #2
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Ddanna,
Hi. I have a discrepency of an 1/8 of an inch which used to be an inch and a half. Mine was from tight muscles and not from bone. Are you sure that yours is from bone and not muscle? But it does sound like it is from bone (your spine) or (hip) since you walked different since when you were young.
Did you get x-rays of your spine/hips or any MRI's yet? Scoliosis could definitely give you a discrepency. A hip problem could as well. I think a full heel lift done by a professional orthotist would help significantly.
I think what they are doing in therapy sounds about right. Are they doing any pulling of your leg that is shorter. My therapist called it a shotgun where they pull the leg hard and quick. I know this sound bad but actually it helped lengthen my leg and I felt so good afterwards. As far as your leg returning back to the shorten position upon your next PT visit, I think you have to give it more time. Mine took a few months. I also was very good about doing the stretches at home (quadraceps, illopsoas, back muscles, calf muscles). This is very important. Also, they could do ultrasound on the illopsoas and quadracep to help with the stretching and pain.
You probably do have myofascial pain. That usually comes along with tight muscles.
The therapist should be doing some manual therapy on you like what I mentioned before about pulling your leg. Also, laying on your back with your knees bent, the therapist puts his arm between your legs and you squeeze your legs together and the opposite (the therapist tries to close your legs and you resist him or her by trying to open your legs. This is all part of trying to get your pelvic in correct allignment.
Sounds like the doc, therapist, and chiropractor all are telling you good bits of info. concerning your problem.
If you don't like the current ortho., go to another and get an second opinion. If you only knew how many docs I have seen in the past few months. But it was all worth it for me because so far I have avoid surgery.
Good luck. Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.
MPT

 
Old 12-02-2003, 05:31 PM   #3
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Thank you so much, MPT!!! I can't write back to you right now but tomorrow I will have more to say to you and some questions regarding you fixing your discrepancy. Talk to you tomorrow, ddanna

 
Old 12-03-2003, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Hello MPT,

Thanks again for your informative post...I am going to copy it for the physical therapist because I can never remember how to explain things the way they were explained to me!! I want to check into the tight muscles being the cause of my pain...when I stretch my legs, the right one hurts a lot while the left one feels like a nice, good stretch. I've had them tell me in the past that the muscles around the lower right quadrant area of my stomach are really tight. I have cried during the therapy when they have to push in on that area of my stomach.

When I walk, I do have a wiggle but no limp; even before I started wearing the heel lift I never had a limp. I guess the heel lift eased some of the right leg pain but not the right quadrant area pain. If I stand for too long though, my right leg will start bothering me no matter if I am wearing the lift.

I have only had an MRI of my back in 1999. That just showed a bulging disc at L5-S1. I do some stretches at home but not as often as I guess I should. They have only showed me a few so far. If I do have any myofascial pain, how would it be diagnosed? I believe my referral to PT was supposed to include massaging but no one has offered it; I will be asking at my next appt tho.

I have had the therapist pull my leg during treatment. At my last appt I got the feeling that the therapist was scratching her head about why I have this problem. She noticed there was clicking noises coming from my right hip area but didn't say what it could be or anything, just seemed concerned. I guess I need to get your post and a bunch of questions together to bring to my next appt.

Can you explain to me in further detail how your leg disc. was discovered and all you went thru to get it back to being pretty close to your other leg length? I've been to a ton of dr. appts as well, so I do know what you mean about that. What do you think was the cause of your muscles on the one side to become sooo tight that it would change your leg lengths?

Well, I hope you have time to answer my questions. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Have a good day!

Ddanna

Last edited by ddanna; 12-03-2003 at 01:54 PM.

 
Old 12-03-2003, 09:54 PM   #5
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

I have had back pain for 8 years and still trying to find out why. I have a mild rotation of the spine and my left hip is about 8mm higher in xray, however no one thinks this is the cause of my pain. I have had physio, chiro, osteopath, massage, podiatrist and 2 back surgeons. The podiatrist said my right leg is the same length as the left but functions shorter, she doesnt want to give me a lift as she says my body will have compensated, but i say it hasnt because of the pain, chronic muscle tightness and now my spine is tilting more and has bulging discs, bone dessication etc etc. I cant get anyone to help me. The surgeons insult me by saying my xrays look ok. My right shoulder is also lower. I have tried stretching for years but nothing works. I am now trying a shoe lift, I am starting with a low one as I dont really know what the difference is. I too have spent a lot of time on the internet looking up short leg stuff, there are different opinions on it, some say the body can cope with a shorter leg and others say a small difference can cause a lot of pain. I wish you good luck, I have spent a LOT of money and have no results, I am pretty angry about it.
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Old 12-07-2003, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

I have read that when having heel lifts it is best to have only half the amount of discrepancy as the body does compensate partially.
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Old 12-07-2003, 09:33 PM   #7
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ddanna HB User
Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Hi Cinderella,

I'm sorry that you are also having to struggle with getting some answers to what exactly is causing your pain. This is just driving me crazy! I'm hoping MPT will post again and tell us more about what they went thru to get their legs pretty close in length.

I stopped wearing my heel lift for a few days cuz I just don't know if it's helping or not. It gets so confusing...sometimes I think it is helping and then there's times I think it's not. I figured I would have some extra pain once I started wearing the lift but I would think that I'm well past that time frame now and I just don't have any real positive things to say. I thought my leg was feeling better with the lift but the last 2 days didn't feel any worse without it.

Maybe MPT was correct in wondering if my problem is muscular...from muscles that are tight!! But what causes a certain muscle in a particular area to be so tight? What am I doing wrong? I go to PT this week so I am totally going to get into all this. I will post whatever I find out too. I was pushing my fingers in my lower right quadrant area where I get my deep pain and I could feel this long, hard thing. I wonder if you can feel when muscles are real tight?

I also get pain in the area where the upper leg meets the pelvis/hip area...does anyone know the area I'm talking about...is there a name for this area so I can read about it? It seems like a pretty sensitive area and I have no idea what could be there. It's the worst kind of aching though. And my buttcheek has pain in it.

Well, I better get ready for bed. I feel lucky that I can pretty much sleep thru the night. My husband says that I do toss and turn and moan a lot so I'm probably not getting the real good sleep but at least I don't have to get up to take any medicine.

If anyone has any ideas about what muscles are connected and could be the cause of all these areas, I would so love to hear them. Thank you much.

Ddanna

 
Old 12-08-2003, 07:54 AM   #8
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Hi Danna, really wish I could help you with your questions! I have alot of the same pains you're talking about, but don't know what's causing it either! I'd be equally interested in the answer! I'm sure someone will come along shortly that knows, take care!!

out2lunch

 
Old 12-10-2003, 06:38 AM   #9
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Hi Out2lunch,

I like your name! What are your exact symptoms and have you had any tests done? Do you have the leg length discrepancy? I'm hoping MPT will come along and post more about their experience...it sounded like they had made some big strides.

Well, hopefully we can keep this thread going until those of us with this problem can get info on correcting it.

Talk to you later,

Ddanna

 
Old 12-21-2003, 07:58 AM   #10
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Morning,

Does anyone have any updates on this subject? I went to physical therapy one more time where they also did traction on me...it was my first time. I'm not real happy with this place though and will not be going back for pt until I can find a better one. I don't like the way this one is run and since this is the only one I've ever been to, I don't know if the things I don't like about it are normal for a pt office? Also, the pt seems so unpleasant; like she's always mad about something and I don't like to see someone wear their problems on their sleeve EVERYTIME I go in there. The dr that filled out my referral specified for me to have some type of massage but when I inquired about it at the pt office, the therapist told me it's up to them to determine if I would need that or not. I feel that it could be possible, like a previous member had posted, that I have some myofascial issues. I was doing some reading on the subject and I have most of the symptoms...but who knows, I've been searching for years so I'm not real optimistic about that being the answer.

Can anyone tell me how a physical therapy appt should go? Is there always a lot of time waiting in between exercises for the next instruction? My longest appt lasted 1 1/2 hrs due to this. The therapist did say that I am very tight in my psoas area. I don't know if it's due to the leg discrepancy or not. Does anyone know if muscles can be tight because they are protecting something that could be wrong internally???? Just trying to leave no stone unturned here.

Lately, besides all the other pain areas I have, my hip has really been bothering me. It hurts ALL the time. Does anyone know if it would be acceptable for me to ask my dr for a referral to get an MRI of the hip area? I did have xrays but nothing showed up...but then again, the people reading these xrays didn't even catch the leg discrepancy so I guess I'm not real convinced.

I'd love to hear from anyone that can answer my questions or that is going through similar problems. Does anyone out there with a leg discrepancy have any updates to report???? Hope to hear from you soon.

Take care, Ddanna

 
Old 12-21-2003, 07:58 PM   #11
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boaz HB User
Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

dd,

Did you have a leg length xray done, they should xray your leg bone from hip joint (femur) down. My husband has ended up with an inch difference because
he broke it badly, and his neurologist has definatley stated it WILL cause back problems due to a thing called gait mechanics. I.E. he walks like a penguin, he had since goofed up his back bad, had surgery, and needs more and is now a life long chronic pain sufferer. Please see someone who will give you a full shoe lift that is attached on the sole. After you get it they should lay this thing like a level across your hips and see if their level. I personally think all that exercise is a waste if you have a documented bone length discrepancy (for that part) you NEED a proper shoe lift ASAP. Hope I've helped you...

 
Old 12-22-2003, 11:59 AM   #12
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ddanna HB User
Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Hi Boaz,

Thank you for giving me this information about your husband. Does he have pain in his hip/upper buttocks/thigh/knee/lower right quadrant of abdomen? That's pretty much where mine is concentrated at. I tried doing some stretches yesterday and I wanted to cry like a baby!!! I cannot believe how tight my right leg is. It's not even a good stretch, it's just painful...like my tendons are too short.

I pretty much feel the way you do about the exercises at physical therapy...I know I haven't given it enough time but to be honest, when I'm there, I always feel that it isn't going to permanently correct my problem and that's what I'm looking for. I don't want to be going to pt for the rest of my life...too much money!!!

I have no idea what orthodics are but I'll do a search on the internet to check it out...I know that my ins. wouldn't cover the cost ($30.) for this simple heel lift I wear but supposedly they will if it's a lift that attaches to my leg or something like that. Is that what orthodics are?

I don't believe my xray was done from hip on down so I want to check into this as well. Did you say that your husband broke his leg and the short leg is a result from that? I haven't had any broken bones; the chiro says it was something I was born with...I need to have him write down for me exactly what it is. I hadn't been bothered by it until approx. 2-3 yrs. ago. Never growing up did I complain of any pain.

So your husband wears the full heel lift, right? Please tell me this does give him some relief!!! I don't want to be a chronic pain patient for the rest of my life!! I want this fixed.

Well, thanks again for the info and I hope you can answer these last few questions I have.

Have a good day, Ddanna

 
Old 12-22-2003, 08:21 PM   #13
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Ddanna,

Hi there, well to start my husband does have hip pain and leg pain, but it's from his back...pinched nerves that all started with the inital leg injury and just snowballed. I've dug out his records to tell you what all his doctor says about this kind of thing...his leg doctor that treated his break (put in a plate with nine screws that eventually had to be removed at a years point) his break was right at the end of his femur at the joint area where it looks like a knuckle...like two knuckles..it was split right up the middle and off to one side and then spiraled in another spot. Apparently it was bad enough that they put it together the best they could, and when it healed it was shorter than the other. His leg doctor notes an inch discrepancy. O.k. take this and couple it with his doctor not getting him a lift in time, while he's sent back to work to walk like a duck, and then add a lift injury because he can no longer do the "proper squatting technique" to lift he finished off his back on that lift of a 30 lb. object.
So he finished his back off waiting for the appointment to get the leg bone length study. They had to use special xray films that they hardly use anymore cause their so long, I think they ended up using two together. They sent him to PT, also it's called "consertative therapy" or bull crap in his case. No amount of exercise or stretching is gonna change a bones length or a disc that is ruptured and pinching nerves at the root (that's where they come out between your vertebra to go out to specific spots in your body. I can't tell you what to do, but if you can find out for sure that your leg bone is shorter on one side, get some doctor to give you a scrip for those shoes. Yes it's called orthotics, you can take a favorite pair in or order some from their books. They just take them and glue the piece on the one you need lifted . Put they told us some shoe soles...what their made of doesn't hold the glue good, so you'll have to check with them. My husbands neurosurgeon has written two depositions stating the facts about his leg length discrepancy causing his back problems.
It's all just according to if your actual bone is shorter, if it's twisted in position someway, that would cause other muscles and ligaments to give you problems, even to the Sacro Iliac joint,there's your hamstring, ect. They tried to stretch him out and it hurt him worse. He's had a laminectomy where those nerve roots I was talking about, they basically go in and "bore out" those openings so the nerve running out of it has more room. Then you get into bone spurs which develope because of the rubbing of bones and all that's out of alignment. I can't tell you how much those orthotics cost cause workers comp picked it up, but it's cheaper than back surgery and life long back pain and problems, that's what I'd tell your insurance if they balk at the cost, but try to find some doc that will prescribe them for you....


let me know how it goes and if I can help more...

Happy Holidays!!

Boaz



p.s. yes ddanna it is a full coverage of the shoe, his boots look kinda like a Herman Munster, but his dress shoes aren't that noticable. He doesn't hurt in his abdomen any, just hip, buttock and runs down his legs, mainly right, try to find out what that is you have specifically, I'll try to help by looking in my orthopedics books. and relief....no his back problems are beyond any shoe lift relieving it, it just staves off worse damage now, he's in a pain clinic treatment who their recommending thos electrode implants to "block pain signals" they don't work for everyone, and his other option is a full back fusion, complete removal of his discs and put in rods and screws to hold his vertebra in place, so please get yourself some help, maybe an orthopedic doctor would be better that a chiro?

Last edited by boaz; 12-22-2003 at 08:29 PM.

 
Old 12-23-2003, 04:25 PM   #14
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Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

I have the same thing from mild Scoliosis. My right leg is longer than the left and points outwards. I use to have a lot of thing burning and stinging and Sciatica type pain. Mine has gone away with PT though. It won't happen over night, that's for sure. I'm sure your PT told you that. Your body has probably been out of alignment for so long that it is going to take awhile to get back to normal.

I think the shoe heel lift is a good idea honestly. I'm not trying to scare you, but also you could develop quite a few foot problems from this as well! I have a lot of pain in my right foot now due to it getting the brunt of my weight all the time.

Good luck ~ Katt
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Last edited by xavier213; 12-24-2003 at 07:49 AM.

 
Old 12-28-2003, 08:05 AM   #15
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ddanna HB User
Re: Help please...Leg discrepancy of 1 to 1 1/2 inches?????

Hi Boaz,
Sorry it's taken me awhile to get back here. I so appreciate the details of your husbands ordeal...and what an ordeal! That is really such a shame that he now has an ongoing problem due to his break! Maybe he will be a good candidate for the pain pump hopefully.
After the first of the year, I will make an appt to see the orthopedic dr that was the only one to really notice the length discrepancy. I want to tell her about the things that haven't worked, about the things that you have said and ask all the questions I have thought of.
I know the lift should be holding me off for futher damage and pain but I didn't want to stay at this pain level...I want to end some of it. I will try to get someone to tell me exactly what my leg problem is from. But I totally agree that if it is a short bone issue then why would I want to waste the money on pt?
Xavier mentioned in the above post that foot problems could arise and I don't know if this has anything to do with my leg or not but I have been getting right foot pain and I have a bunion I guess, on my right foot by the big toe that has been just starting to bother me. I never wear any shoes but flip flops and slip on types so I know it's not from squeezing into any shoes like when I used to work. But it pretty much looks ugly and throbs every day.
Well, I better go get breakfast started. Thank you so much for communicating with me on this issue. I hope your husband gets his leg problem figured out so he can get relief!
Talk to you after I get some more answers. So, look for this thread if you can, after the first of the year. Have a good day! Ddanna

 
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