Skip Navigation LinksHome > Winter 2012 - Volume 24 - Issue 4 > Commentary on “Limb Length Discrepancies Among 8- to 12-Year...
Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31826a225f
Clinical Bottom Line

Commentary on “Limb Length Discrepancies Among 8- to 12-Year-Old Children Who Are Developing Typically”

Goodrich, Natalie DPT; Lowes, Linda Pax PT, PhD, PCS

Free Access
Collapse Box

Author Information

Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

“How should I apply this information?”

This article contributes to the body of knowledge pertaining to musculoskeletal characteristics of children and adolescents who are developing typically. In the rare case that a child with no activity or participation limitations is referred for physical therapy evaluation due to suspicion of a leg length discrepancy, this article provides an appropriate evaluation technique and population data. It is more likely that this information would be used by a physical therapist involved in a physical screening program, such as in preseason assessments for a sports team. From a screening standpoint, asymptomatic leg length discrepancy may be noted to appropriately monitor the athlete in question. A documented leg length discrepancy would influence decision making following an injury, progression of limb length discrepancy, or development of a secondary condition, such as scoliosis or unilateral toe-walking.

“What should I be mindful about when applying this information?”

When applying data from this article to clinical practice, it is important to remember the study sample. Because this was a convenience sample of 8- to 12-year-old white children from middle-class backgrounds who were developing typically, the prevalence of limb length discrepancy has limited generalizability. As the authors mentioned, although the validity of the tape measurement method to determine degree of limb length discrepancy has been validated in adults, it has not be validated in children. Also, the authors of this study selected 2 cm as the cutoff for limb length discrepancy somewhat arbitrarily, as pediatric and adult sources can be found to support alternate cutoff values.

Natalie Goodrich, DPT

Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

Linda Pax Lowes, PT, PhD, PCS

Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

Login

Article Tools

Share

Follow PED-PT on Twitter