Does leg length discrepancy predict which foot will ulcerate in a patient with diabetes mellitus?

  • Richard Barney Masoetsa Dasman Center of Research and Treatment of Diabetes
  • Dharmendra Goven National Health Service
  • Aboobaker Sayed Podiatrist in Private Practice
  • Ephraim Modimakwane University of Johannesburg
  • Talib Juma Al Amiri Hospital
Keywords: Leg Length Discrepancy, Peak Plantar Pressures, Equinus deformity, Diabetes Mellitus, Ulceration


Leg length discrepancy (LLD) affects about 60% to 95% of the general population and can result in functional complaints due to dynamic changes in musculoskeletal biomechanics. However, many people who have about 1 to 2.5 centimeters (cm) of LLD do not seem to have any clinical symptoms. Therefore, controversy still remains as to at what level of LLD intervention should be instituted. Yet, in a disease like diabetes mellitus, where the foot may be neuropathic and/or affected by some form of peripheral vascular disease, any amount of lower extremity discrepancy must be a cause for concern to any practitioner managing a diabetic foot. This article will review LLD and its biomechanical influence on the foot and how it may lead to plantar ulceration.

Author Biographies

Richard Barney Masoetsa, Dasman Center of Research and Treatment of Diabetes
Diabetic Podiatrist The Foot Clinic Dasman Center of Research and Treatment of Diabetes Kuwait
Dharmendra Goven, National Health Service
Podiatrist National Health Service United Kingdom
Aboobaker Sayed, Podiatrist in Private Practice
Podiatrist in private practice South Africa
Ephraim Modimakwane, University of Johannesburg
Lecturer Department of Podiatry University of Johannesburg
Talib Juma, Al Amiri Hospital
Consultant Surgeon Al Amiri Hospital Kuwait