METHODS: Online databases: Medline, CINAHL and Mantis. Plus library searches for the time frame of 1970-2005 were done using the term "leg-length inequality".
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The evidence suggests that an unloaded leg-length asymmetry is a different phenomenon than an anatomic leg-length inequality, and may be due to suprapelvic muscle hypertonicity. Anatomic leg-length inequality and unloaded functional or leg-length alignment asymmetry may interact in a loaded (standing) posture, but not in an unloaded (prone/supine) posture.
CONCLUSION: The unloaded, functional leg-length alignment asymmetry is a likely phenomenon, although more research regarding reliability of the measurement procedure and validity relative to spinal dysfunction is needed. Functional leg-length alignment asymmetry should be eliminated before any necessary treatment of anatomic LLI.
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