Leg length discrepancy and osteoarthritis in the knee, hip and lumbar spine

Kelvin J. Murray, Michael F. Azari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Osteoarthritis (OA) is an extremely common condition that creates substantial personal and health care costs. An important recognised risk factor for OA is excessive or abnormal mechanical joint loading. Leg length discrepancy (LLD) is a common condition that results in uneven and excessive loading of not only knee joints but also hip joints and lumbar motion segments. Accurate imaging methods of LLD have made it possible to study the biomechanical effects of mild LLD (LLD of 20mm or less). This review examines the accuracy of these methods compared to clinical LLD measurements. It then examines the association between LLD and OA of the joints of the lower extremity. More importantly, it addresses the largely neglected association between LLD and degeneration of lumbar motion segments and the patterns of biomechanical changes that accompany LLD. We propose that mild LLD may be an important instigator or contributor to OA of the hip and lumbar spine, and that it deserves to be rigorously studied in order to decrease OA's burden of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-237
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Chiropractic Association. Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiropractic
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Lumbar spine
  • Osteoarthritis

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