The symmetry of the human locomotion apparatus makes inequality of the limbs an aberrant finding for both patient and doctor. 4-15% of the healthy, adult population, has a limb length inequality (LLI) of one cm or more. A minor discrepancy of less than one cm is therefore common and many people are not even aware of it. More often the tailor makes the diagnosis than the 'patient' (Morscher 1972a). The discomfort of LLI will increase with greater inequality of the limbs. However, the same LLI can give rise to different degrees of discomfort: LLI which is slowly acquired during the growth period is much better tolerated than LLI which is suddenly acquired in adulthood (e.g. by trauma). In developing countries, elderly adults with LLI of even more than 10 cm performed heavy manual work throughout their lifes. Sports activities don't have to be limited either: people were described who became a twohundred meter dash-champion in spite of 2.9 cm LLI and who skied on water and snow with 7.4 cm inequality (Gross 1978, Menelaus 1991).

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Stichling Onderwijs en Onderzoek Opleiding Orthopaedic Rotterdam, Stichting Anna-Fonds. Oudshoom B.V., West Meditec B.V., Ortamed B.V., Howmedica Nederland
B. van Linge , C.J. Snijders (Chris)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lampe, H. I. H. (1997, December 17). Children with lower limb length inequality: The measurement of inequality, the timing of physiodesis and gait analysis. Retrieved from