Clearing that long leg….

Even MORE on short legs…

We remember from last week, and the week before, there at least SIX common compensations for a short leg.

We recounted them and spoke about leaning to the side of the short leg last time. Here are the others, in case you need a reminder:

  •  pronation of the longer side, supination of the shorter
  • circumduction of the longer leg around the shorter
  •  hip hike on long leg side (seen as contraction of hip abductors, obliques and quadratus  lumborum on short leg side)
  • excessive ankle plantar flexion on short side
  •  excessive knee bend on the long leg side

Lets look at “circumduction" of the longer extremity. Swinging the longer leg out and around helps to create clearance for the longer leg.  It makes no difference if the leg is functionally or structurally short, the body still needs a strategy to move around the asymmetry. This can sometimes occur with one of the other compensations, but we usually see it by itself.

This compensation often occurs with a pelvic dip on the same side, due to weakness of the gluteus medius complex.

Watch the above video (which we slowed down for you) that we captured on “the Gait Cam” a few times to see what we are talking about. This person has a left short leg and has a pelvic drift during stance phase to that side . We slowed it down so it is easier to see.

Remember here is that what you are seeing is the compensation, not necessarily the problem. When one leg is shorter, something must be done to get the longer leg through swing phase.

Circumduction….Tautological gait…Increasing your gait vocabulary on a daily basis..

Ivo and Shawn.