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Limb length discrepancy (LLD) is a known complication of total hip arthroplasty (THA), leading to decreased patient function and satisfaction. It remains unknown how a patient's perception of LLD evolves over time. The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between measured and perceived LLD, and to assess whether perceived LLD resolved with time in most patients. This study retrospectively reviewed radiographs of 140 consecutive patients undergoing primary THA by a single surgeon via a direct anterior approach, calculating postoperative change in limb length (ΔL). Patient perceptions of LLD were recorded at standard postoperative visit intervals. A P-value of .05 was used to determine statistical significance. Of 130 patients (mean ΔL = +7.9 mm), 22 patients endorsed perceived postoperative LLD and the remainder were asymptomatic (mean ΔL +11.1 mm vs +7.3 mm, P = .03). Seventeen patients reported mild symptoms and 5 reported severe symptoms (mean ΔL +10.2 mm vs +13.8 mm, P = .4). After 1 year, 45% (10) patients reported complete resolution of perceived LLD (mean follow-up 364 days), 18% (4) reported notable improvement, and 36% (8) reported no improvement. Four excluded patients endorsed perceived LLD (2 mild, 2 severe), which resolved after contralateral THA. This study noted a correlation between increasing postoperative ΔL and perceived LLD. A majority of patients (63%) experienced either improvement or full resolution of symptoms during the follow-up period. This data may have a role in reassuring the orthopedic surgeon and the patient regarding the natural course of postoperative LLD. Further investigation is needed to help identify risk factors for persistent LLD. Level III (Prognostic). Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Curtis T Adams, Robert E O'Leary, Rohan A Gheewala, Jared T Roberts. Evolving Patient Perception of Limb Length Discrepancy Following Total Hip Arthroplasty. The Journal of arthroplasty. 2021 Jul;36(7S):S374-S379

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PMID: 33812717

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