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Dr. Stan
Dr. Stan, Medical Physician and Surgeon
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
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hip..leg..back..sole, are there any other surgical options

Resolved Question:

I was diagnosed with congenital dislocation of the hip at age 18 months (missed at birth) and treated with a cast at that time. I am now 50 and have an inch leg length discrepancy which over the years has caused back spasms and occasional neck pain. Besides wearing shoes that have been modified to put an inch lift on the sole, are there any other surgical options and are they worth it?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Stan replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Welcome to Just Answer:

Sorry for the difficulties your are experiencing from the imbalance of the leg lengths. The treatment surgical treatment option for leg length discrepancy includes limb balancing procedures. However, considering your age, in which case the growth plate has closed, this is not a feasible procedure. These procedures are often successful in the young patients. Yet, even in these young age group, whether or not treatment should be pursued depends on the amount of discrepancy. In general, no treatment (other than use a heel, if desired) should be considered for discrepancies under 2 cm. If the leg length discrepancy measures between 2-5 cm, one might consider a procedure to equalize leg length in the young age group. Usually, this would involve closure of the growth plate on the long side, thereby allowing the short side to catch up; shortening the long leg; or possibly lengthening the short leg. For discrepancies over five centimeters, more aggressive surgical procedures—specifically leg lengthening procedures—are typically required. I suggest that you follow-up with your orthopedic doctor for a second opinion closer evaluation of your case.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Since it was originally a hip socket problem as I understand it, are there ways to improve the hip socket so that the short leg is "longer"?
Expert:  Dr. Stan replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much for your reply:

Yes, it is possible that a total hip replacement on the affected limb with an artificial hip socket and hinge length to correct for the imbalance is a viable option for your leg imbalance. This procedure can be considered in adults with leg length imbalance causing significant complication such as neck and lower back pain. However, the extent or severity of symptom from such imbalance would determine to aggressive of treatment portion. I suggest that you follow-up with your orthopedic surgeon for closer evaluation for such portion.

It was a pleasure to assist you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you so much.

A Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.

Please note that this answer is for information only. It cannot be substituted for the visit to or the recommendation of your doctor.
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