Scoliosis associated with limb-length inequality.

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We reviewed the records and physical findings of twenty-three young adults who had had significant untreated limb-length inequality, present since childhood. The spine was studied radiographically and clinically before and after neutralization of the discrepancy of limb lengths with a lift. Movements of the spine also were measured. A significant asymmetry of lateral flexion of the spine remained in nearly all of the patients after neutralization of the discrepancy. The lumbar scoliosis associated with the limb-length inequality was compensatory and non-progressive, but abnormalities of the Cobb angle and of axial rotation remained in the young adults. No relationship was found between the underlying cause of the anisomelia or its duration and the severity of the spinal abnormality. The scoliosis was minor in patients with discrepancies of less than 2.2 centimeters. No patients complained of significant discomfort in the back, nor were degenerative radiographic changes evident there.

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