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July 2021

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1987 Oct; 10(5): 232-8.

Short leg correction: a clinical trial of radiographic vs. non-radiographic procedures.

Aspegren DD, Cox JM, Trier KK.

Low Back Pain Clinic, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Visual leg length insufficiency detection and correction is compared with established radiographic procedures on 41 consecutive patients presenting to a chiropractic clinic with low back pain. It is commonly accepted that the most accurate procedure of short leg demonstration is the standing X ray. Visual correction, as described by Rene Cailliet, uses three anatomical points of reference: a) iliac crest levelness, b) vertical appraisal of the spine from the sacral base (the spine should be perpendicular to the sacral base) and c) levelness of the posterosuperior iliac spine (PSIS) dimples. Lifts of varying thickness were placed under the foot of the short leg in both leg length corrective procedures. This study found that the visual method of measurement did not differ significantly from the X-ray method of measurement for leg length insufficiency. Further, it was found that when comparing those in which the visual measure was less than the X-ray measure and those in which the visual measure was greater, there was a significant relationship between visual and X-ray measures. Eta (eta 2) demonstrates that there is a very strong relationship between visual and X-ray methods of measurement. A review of the literature is presented regarding the correlation of leg length insufficiency and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as the discrepancy required to alter biomechanical properties of the trunk and lower extremity.

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