How is leg length discrepancy measured after total hip replacement? How long should one wait to evaluate?
Let me explain. Limb length discrepancy can be measured by a physician during a physical examination and through x-rays. Usually, the physician measures the level of the hips when the patient is standing barefoot. A series of measured wooden blocks may be placed under the short leg until the hips are leveled. If the physician believes a more precise measurement is needed, he or she may use x-rays. (scanogram).
Exam and x-ray. Surgeons are careful at the time of tha to equalize leg lengths. In some cases the hip will be more stable if slightly longer. Many patients will feel that the operative leg is longer the 1st month after surgery but in fact it is not. An exam and x-ray will show the true leg length and I do this at 6 weeks. Stretching exercises will resolve the feeling of it being longer.