Leg length discrepancy and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: clinical and radiological characteristics

Buyukaslan A., Abul K., Berk H., Yilmaz H.

SPINE DEFORMITY, vol.10, no.2, pp.307-314, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s43390-021-00417-0
  • Journal Name: SPINE DEFORMITY
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.307-314
  • Keywords: Leg length discrepancy, Scoliosis, Pelvic obliquity, Leg length discrepancy scoliometer test, LOW-BACK-PAIN, INEQUALITY, GAIT
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose This retrospective study aimed to present the clinical and radiological features of functional scoliosis due to LLD and LLD concurrent with AIS; it also aimed to define their relationships for differentiating functional scoliosis due to LLD and LLD concurrent with AIS. Methods This study was conducted as a single-center retrospective comparative study on 47 scoliosis patients with diagnosed LLD, aged 10-18 years. Cases with a diagnosis of structural LLD were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of concurrent AIS. Data on demographics and the angle of trunk rotation on a sacral basis (ATR(sacrum)) were recorded. Limb length was clinically measured with a tape measure and clinical LLD (C-LLD) scoliometer test. Cobb angle, axial rotation, pelvic obliquity, and radiological LLD (R-LLD) were obtained from standing spine radiographs and measured by two blinded orthopedic spine surgeons. Results The prevalence of LLD was 6.7% in scoliosis patients in our study population. Cobb angle and apical rotation were higher in the LLD concurrent with AIS group than in the LLD group (p <= 0.05). The C-LLDscoliometer test results were strongly correlated with both C-LLDtape measure (r = 0.651; p = 0.000) and ATR(sacrum) (r = 0.688; p = 0.000). Conclusion LLD may develop as a result of adaptive changes due to scoliosis, or a concurrent condition to scoliosis. Cobb angle and apical rotation are the features that differentiate AIS from functional scoliosis in patients with LLD. The C-LLD scoliometer test can be an effective, practical, and useful method for measuring C-LLD, but its validity and reliability should be determined. Level of evidence III.