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YET MORE compensations for short legs…

We remember from from the last few weeks, there at least SIX common compensations for a short leg. Last week we looked at hip hiking. Here is the list, in case you needed a reminder:

  • hip hike on long leg side (seen as contraction of hip abductors, obliques and quadratus  lumborum on short leg side)
  • excessive knee bend on the long leg side
  •  pronation of the longer side, supination of the shorter
  • leaning to he shorter leg side
  • circumduction of the longer leg around the shorter
  • excessive ankle plantar flexion on short side

This time we will look at excessive knee bend on the long leg side. Normally the knee bends about 20 degrees at loading response/ midstance, and about 50 degrees during swing phase to create “clearance”.

Watch this gals R knee during swing. Yes, she has an abnormality of the R great toe extensor (torn extensor hallicus longus and brevis), but also a L short leg. It makes no difference if the leg is functionally or structurally short, the body still needs a strategy to move around the longer leg.

Remember here is that what you are seeing is the compensation, not necessarily the problem. When one leg is shorter, something must be done to get the longer leg through swing phase.

Excessive knee flexion. Yet another compensation to look out for. 

Ivo and Shawn. …still bald…still good looking…still geeky…… The Gait Guys

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