We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Short Leg Syndrome?

By Pamela Pleasant
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Short leg syndrome is a medical condition that causes pain and discomfort in the back and legs due to a difference in the leg lengths. If one leg is shorter than the other, there is no way to maintain balance, which causes painful symptoms. Attempting to compensate for the difference in leg lengths can make matters much worse also. For example, trying to place the foot on the ground and leaning on or favoring the shortened leg can put pressure on the back or the legs. Short leg syndrome can also cause an inflammation of the sciatic nerve in the back and knee pain.

There are a few medical conditions that can cause short leg syndrome. An infant can be born with this condition due to congenital causes or problems during delivery can injure an infant’s hip, causing a dislocation. Tipping the pelvis or having poor posture can have a negative effect on the legs. Fractures or leg breaks do not heal properly also can cause short leg syndrome. Surgeries that are done on the knees or hips can also change the lengths of the legs.

The treatment for short leg syndrome depends on what type of problem is seen. An anatomical short leg is diagnosed by measuring the length of the leg from the hip to the ankle. After measuring both legs, there will be a notable difference in the two measurements. With a functional short leg, the measurement of the legs is the same but the abnormality lies in the displacement of the pelvis. Functional short leg syndrome can also cause pain in the muscles, joints and nerves, which produces tingling sensations, headaches, and numbness in the legs or arms.

When treating short leg syndrome, it is important to make sure that both legs are made equal in length. Wearing shoes with an enhanced heal or lift can be a temporary fix, but the soles on the shoes can wear down over time and the painful symptoms can return. An orthotic, custom-made lift can be made from a mold of the foot. This custom lift will be made to fit an individual foot and will not wear down even after a long period of time. These custom-made orthotic lifts are only recommended if the differences in leg lengths are under a quarter of an inch (6.35 millimeters).

An asymmetry of any limb can have a negative effect on the entire body. It can even change the way teeth come together while chewing. Early diagnosis and immediate treatment can help to lessen the painful symptoms.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.