Background: Limb length discrepancy (LLD) is common and is associated with musculoskeletal disorders. Selection of adaptation strategies, the side more susceptible to complications, and the relationships between LLD magnitude and musculoskeletal complications are unclear. To elucidate these ambiguities, studies on gait parameters in LLD have been conducted. However, studies on inter-limb difference of mechanical work in LLD are rare. Research Question: To investigate whether inter-limb differences in mechanical work in LLD and the relationship between LLD magnitude and mechanical work performed by each lower limb are significant. Methods: Thirty-seven participants with LLD and without neuromuscular disorders disturbing normal gait were included. Three-dimensional motion analysis was conducted to obtain data on mechanical work, including joint work and the individual limb method (ILM) work. Mechanical work performed by the longer and shorter limbs was compared using paired t-test. Relationships between LLD and mechanical work were investigated using correlation and multiple regression analyses in both limbs. Eighteen participants had LLD > 20 mm, large group (LG), and 19 had LLD < 20 mm, small group (SG). Data exploration was conducted for the effect of LLD severity (LG vs. SG) on mechanical work. Results: LLD showed significant inter-limb difference of mechanical work and negative correlations with positive and negative ILM work performed by the shorter limb. The shorter limb in SG performed significantly larger positive ILM work than the longer limb, whereas the longer limb in LG performed significantly larger negative ILM work than the shorter limb. Significance: LLD showed inter-limb difference of ILM work and different adaptation strategies between LG and SG. These differences attribute to the decrease in ILM work performed by the shorter limb with the increase in LLD. Mechanical work including ILM work should be included in future studies to prevent complications and development of treatment methods for LLD.
- Limb length discrepancy
- Mechanical work
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine