Testing & Diagnosis for Leg Length Discrepancy in Children

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Contact the Lower Extremity Program

  • 1-617-355-6021
  • International: +01-617-355-5209
  • Locations

How does a doctor know my child has a leg length discrepancy?

Diagnostic procedures include your child’s complete medical history and a physical examination by an orthopedic surgeon. These tools help determine the underlying cause of the problem.

During the physical exam, your child's doctor will probably take two measurements of your child's legs with a tape measure and use a block to balance the pelvis.

The doctor may also ask your child to stand with a block under the shorter leg to confirm the the amount of correction that feels best. The doctor will confirm the measurement with a diagnostic test:

•   X-ray – A diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues,
    bones and organs onto film

•   EOS X-ray – a low-dose, 3-D X-ray system that produces images of the bones

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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