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The Long And Short Of Leg Lengthening For Uneven Gait

by Terry Wilson

Dealing with two different leg lengths can be difficult for physical movement. Throughout your life, you may have learned how to make up for the fact that one leg was longer than the other. Many people do this by wearing an elevator shoe on the short leg. Others will walk with a limp that they barely notice due to it becoming a part of their normal walk. If you are dealing with different leg lengths and you want to have your legs lengthened, here are a few things that you should consider first.  

Get a checkup on your skeletal health

Before you schedule an appointment for leg lengthening surgery, you will need to have a checkup on your skeletal health. After walking with a limp for a long time, it is possible to develop some hip and thigh issues. Your joints may also feel some strain due to walking in a labored manner. Prior to going through the leg lengthening process, the rest of your issues may need to be taken care of. Go to see your orthopedic doctor to determine if you are a proper candidate for leg lengthening with your current skeletal makeup. 

Discover how long you won't be able to walk

Lengthening your legs will be a physically demanding process. Your legs will need to be broken, then reset in order to go through the leg lengthening process. This means that you will need time off of work and possible short-term disability in order to heal after surgery. Once the surgery is over, your next phase of healing will be rehabilitation. You will need to learn how to walk again after your legs have begun to heal. Building up strength in your lower half will be a slow, but necessary step towards walking again. Be sure that you are willing to sacrifice the time for recovery and rehabilitation that it will take to walk with your new gait. 

Discuss how your overall life will improve

If your limp is not so pronounced that it causes you physical pain or harm to your skeletal frame, your leg length may not present a large problem over the course of your lifetime. Prior to getting the surgery, discuss with your orthopedic doctor just how much your physical frame and abilities will improve. If the improvements will be minor, while the recovery long, you may wish to stick with other orthopedic solutions such as special-made shoes. If your ability to walk, run, and participate in normal physical activities will increase exponentially, the healing period for the surgery may be a minor price to pay for a better lifelong lifestyle. 

For more information about leg-lengthening surgery, talk to orthopedists in your area at practices like Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester.