Anatomical leg-length inequality, scoliosis and lordotic curve in unselected clinic patients

Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics 1991; 14: 368-375


Anatomic leg length inequality (LLI) and various mechanical measures of the lumbar spine, particularly scoliosis, lordosis and Ferguson’s angle, were analyzed retrospectively from the X-rays of 106 consecutive patients in a private chiropractic practice. Results showed that 40% of the subjects had LLI>6 mm while 70% had LLI>3mm. These data compared closely with studies done by other investigators, indicating that our routine diagnostic X-ray procedure is sufficient for accurately determining LLI. Our most noteworthy finding was that patients with LLI >6 mm often (53% of the cases) had scoliosis and/or abnormal lordotic curves. Altered lordotic curves comprised both hypo- and hyperlordosis with about equal frequency. The correlation coefficients between the amount of LLI and any of the parameters taken singly, however, were not significant. The results of this study indicate that while there is no strong correlation between any one of the particular postural adaptations to anatomic leg length deficiency, nevertheless at least one abnormal spinal adaption (scoliosis or hypo-hyperlordosis) occurs in over half of subjects who have LLI>6mm.