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Limb Length Discrepancy Specialist

Maguire & Early Orthopedics

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons located in Santa Barbara, CA & Pismo Beach, CA

If your child has a significant limb length discrepancy, they may miss important milestones like crawling and walking. At Maguire & Early Orthopedics in Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara, California, orthopedic specialists Sean Early, MD, and Michael Maguire, MD, offer both conservative and surgical solutions to correct a limb length discrepancy so your child can develop on track and hit each milestone without difficulty. To learn more about treatment options for a limb length discrepancy, call the Maguire & Early Orthopedics office nearest you or book a consultation online today.

Limb Length Discrepancy Q & A

What is a limb length discrepancy?

A limb length discrepancy describes a difference in the lengths of arms or legs in children. This issue typically becomes more noticeable as a child grows and begins crawling and walking.

Some children are born with legs of different lengths, but bone injuries or underlying medical conditions like infections can also cause limb length discrepancy. Your child might also develop a limb length discrepancy if they have neurological conditions or inflammatory conditions like juvenile arthritis.

A difference in limb length may not always need treatment, but if there’s a significant length difference, it can interfere with your child’s ability to stay active.

When should I seek treatment for limb length discrepancy?

If you notice that your child has a visible difference in the lengths of their limbs, you can schedule a consultation with the team at Maguire & Early Orthopedics.

You should also request a diagnostic evaluation if your child experiences symptoms of a limb length discrepancy, such as:

  • Limping
  • Low back pain
  • Recurrent fatigue
  • Unusual gait
  • Difficulties walking or standing

The orthopedic team offers comprehensive physical evaluations to confirm a limb length discrepancy and assess how it’s impacting your child’s health. They use on-site diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays to better understand what type of treatment your child needs.

How is a limb length discrepancy treated?

Your child’s treatment plan for a limb length discrepancy depends on its severity. Typically, the team at Maguire & Early Orthopedics focuses on nonsurgical treatments, such as wearing shoe lifts to improve your child’s walking ability.

The team also may take a wait-and-see approach, carefully monitoring your child’s development over time before recommending treatment.

If your child has a significant limb length discrepancy, they might need surgery to shorten or stop the growth of the longer limb or lengthen the shorter limb. The orthopedic specialists will determine which surgical strategy works best for your child based on their age and the nature of the limb length discrepancy.

If you suspect your child has a limb length discrepancy, schedule a diagnostic evaluation online or by calling the Maguire & Early Orthopedics office nearest you today.