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Leg length discrepancy in scoliotic patients.

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Skeleton Movement Analysis & Advanced Rehabilitation Technology, Università D'Annunzio, Chieti, Italy.


The aetiological aspects as well as postural attitude implications represent an open question in scoliosis evaluation and treatment. Leg length discrepancy (LLD) is often recognised in scoliotic patients, but surprisingly still controversial is the use of underfoot wedge corrections in order to compensate pelvis tilt. In fact, literature reports conflicting results on the efficacy of LLD equalization also given the argued uncertainty of LLD clinical assessment and limitations related to X-ray measurements. Moreover concern is about anatomic and functional LLD and associated estimation of the pelvic torsion. In such a topic, a significant helpful tool has been demonstrated to be 3D kinematic optoelectronic measurements and other useful data obtained from force platforms and/or baropodographic systems. 135 (94.4%) out of 143 Scoliotic patients sample (av. age 16.4±10.2 Y range 4-66 Y), have been found to improve posture when LLD was corrected. The 143 patients showed a mean lower limb discrepancy of μ=10.2±5.2mm associated to a mean main scoliotic curve μ=16.4°±9.4° Cobb (frontal plane), mean Spinal offset μ=7.5±5.5mm and mean Global offset μ=10.1±7.1mm. The applied paired t-test comparison (indifferent vs. corrected orthostasis) showed significant (p < 0.05) postural improvements could be obtained in the whole or in a part of the considered postural parameters, after the application of suitable under-foot wedge. The present investigation confirm results of a previous study demonstrating the efficacy of under-foot wedge use in leg asymmetry correction, posture re-balancing and spine deformities reduction, pointing out the significant contribution of the 3D opto-electronic measurement approach in the critical process of assessing the correct under-foot wedge size, therapy planning and monitoring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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