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Leg Length Inequalities & A TKR

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the findings during my yearly post-tkr appointment was the fact that I needed to wear an external shoe lift. It turns out that my leg lengths were greater than what was originally thought.

Three weeks after my total knee replacement, I was given a 1/4” wedge to put into my shoe since there was a slight discrepancy between the length of my two legs at the time. There were no measurements taken at the time, only an estimate. I thought that was great. When I questioned my surgeon about it, he stated that there was no reconstruction nor realignment surgery done during my tkr surgery. The decreased amount must have been due to my leg just being straightened out when the bionic knee was put into place. See, prior to my surgery, I was bone on bone for so long that my leg was bow-legged. X-rays looked like my knee was falling out of joint. Not a pretty sight. 😕

Prior to my tkr, I was wearing a 1” shoe lift for 32 years. For as long as I wore that (it was on the bottom of my sole, not inside my shoe), I was sensitive about it. It never ceased to amaze me how 99% of the people would look at my lift, then up at me. Even with me looking at them, this happened. It may seem an exaggeration, but that has been my experience. When I met the 1% that saw me first, I knew I was on to something good. (Maybe I’m just too sensitive in this area).

Anyways, as time went on throughout my first year post-tkr while using that ¼” wedge, my opposite side hip and knee started to hurt. They were hurting so bad that it was getting to be painful to walk. Could have been much worse, but it took the fun out of walking much. My bionic knee was doing great. 🙂 So, when I had my yearly follow-up, I was thinking maybe it was because my shoe lift was not big enough.

My questions were answered when my legs were measured and I found out I needed to wear that 3/4” lift. Now I don’t have the opposite side pain and discomfort like before. Cool.

Funny thing about it? My first day out while wearing my new lift, I noticed someone directly in front of me staring at my shoe. Then she looked up at me.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi, just a couple of questions, if that’s ok! Did the leg length discrepancy affect your balance? I know you said it made the other side hurt but wondered what else you noticed. Also, has your knee returned to a “normal” size? I swear my knees look too big for my legs. It’s been 8 months and I never had any obvious swelling but surely the implants aren’t that big. The OS told my son I had little knees so he should have put in little implants! I have the little leg, big belly type body so maybe that’s why my balance is off and not the knees! Thanks and have a good night.

  2. Hi Janice,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, the leg length differences affect my balance. I just do extra exercises (like standing on one leg) to straighten my muscles – which helps with balance.
    Sometimes I look like a drunken sailor with my loss of balance issues. 😦 Oh well..that’s life…It could be worse.
    Good luck!

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