Perception of imposed leg length inequality in normal subjects

Seamus O’Brien, George Kernohan, Claire Fitzpatrick, Janet Hill, David Beverland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Lower limb length differences of up to 10mm exist in 60% - 95% of the population.There are usually no symptoms or functional effects. Following Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA), satisfactory clinical results can be spoiled by dissatisfaction due to a change in leg length. Although the change in leg length may be modest in comparison to the normal variation, the patient may perceive this as a leg length discrepancy. To study the average threshold for perception, artificial leg length discrepancies of 5 mm to 25 mm were created in 30 young healthy adults using calibrated wooden blocks. Responses were recorded and analysed using a chi-squared test for independence and an independent measures t-test. Awareness of leg length discrepancy was related to the magnitude of the discrepancy (X2 (15)= 156.6, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
JournalHip International
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Address for correspondence:
Dr. Seamus O’Brien
Outcomes Assessment Unit
Musgrave Park Hospital
Stockman’s Lane
Belfast BT9 7JB, N. Ireland
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  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Total hip arthroplasty


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