This patient presented with achilles pain LEFT and posterior shin pain RIGHT. He already had a pair of fairly symmetrical orthotics, although you can clearly see how asymmetric his feet and legs are in gait.
A detailed biomechaincal examination revealed a short LEFT leg, which was confirmed to be 14mm short left by a full leg length CT scanogram. It is truly staggering and sadly common that this was missed by his health professional, and yet another reason why ONLY sports podiatrists should be prescribing prescription orthotics.
He was fitted with prescription carbon fibre composite orthotics from 3D foot scans of both feet, for running ( he is 84kgs).
He was given stretches and strengthening advice, shoe selection and running technique advice and is doing well.
Many health professionals will tell you that “Less than 10mm leg length differences don’t matter, because the body has adjusted”. I disagree entirely, and can tell you first hand that as little as 4mm can affect many patients if the difference is osseous (bone length) and not functional (twisted pelvis etc).
We have one patient (of many examples) with a 4mm heel raise built into her short leg side orthotic, to address a 6mm difference.
In her words “As soon as I take my orthotics off, the (long term) bulging disc in my neck hurts”. This was her exact report as she came in to order a second pair two years after the first.
So, if you suspect you have a leg length difference, don’t muck around, get it measured properly. We hope to see you soon at Sydney Sports Podiatry.