Margot Fleming of Long Beach needed a shoe lift after her hip operation. Debbie Lundin of Glen Clove was born this way. Many people have leg length discrepancies that leave one leg literally hanging in midair while standing. The problem causes damage when walking because the short leg has to travel more distance to reach the ground. The shorter leg appears to crash down toward the earth, throwing the other hip up. The long limb deforms the joints to shorten and balance to the short leg. Even marginal cases that often go undiagnosed or treated can produce trauma to the body in gait.
Correcting for a leg length discrepancy starts with a prescription for the amount of lift to correct. Oftentimes, a clinical evaluation for correction may differ from the actual difference. Prescriptions for shoe lifts may come from should be obtained from a physician or a clinician under a physician’s supervision to order the:
1) Type of elevation (platform lift or heel raise), and
2) Height dimension of the elevation.
The height elevation may be measured in inches or millimeters. In addition, the various dimensions of the lift from the heel to the toe should be evaluated with the patient standing in the shoe. Small amounts can be made to fit as heel raises in the shoe, generally up to 1/4″ or possibly 3/8″; larger amounts must be built into the sole of the footwear, usually by splitting the sole and inserting soling material.