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Leg length discrepancy: the importance of a complete history and examination


A 26-year-old woman with a 1-year history of right knee pain had failed to respond to analgesia and activity modification in the community. Her general practitioner referred her to the orthopaedic department for specialist review. A thorough history revealed that she had multiple orthopaedic interventions as a child. The patient had significant postoperative infection of the left knee following knee surgery at 7 years of age. Examination demonstrated the presence of a limp, scoliosis and suspected leg length discrepancy. Plain film radiography confirmed the presence of leg length discrepancy, with the right limb measuring 30 mm longer than the left. The leg length discrepancy was likely secondary to a growth arrest of the left knee following the postoperative infection in childhood. The patient was managed with physiotherapy and heel raises and received regular orthopaedic follow-up.

  • orthopaedics
  • healthcare improvement and patient safety
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