What is Acquired Limb Length Discrepancy?

Limb length discrepancy (LLD) is a difference between the lengths of two limbs such as the legs or arms. Acquired LLD usually develops gradually over time. Any bone of the body can be affected, but it is usually the long bones that patients visibly notice or feel. LLD can be a result of an injury, infection, arthritis, illness, or tumor. It may affect only one side of the body as the other side of the body continues to develop normally, causing the length discrepancy. In some cases, the underlying cause of the LLD can be bilateral. Acquired LLD may be seen in babies, children and adolescents, or adulthoods. This type of LLD is not congenital, meaning the limb length is not present at birth.


Limb Length Discrepancy can be acquired in several ways. It can be due to injury of the growth plates during development or can occur due to previous fracture of long bones that have not properly healed (malunion or non-union of the fracture). Partial or complete growth arrest can also occur from various infections such as sepsis or osteomyelitis leaving abnormal development of the bones and limb length discrepancy.


  • Imbalance in leg lengths or arm length
  • Pain in joints due to limping
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of function of the affected body part
  • Sometimes a visual length difference can be seen


Understanding the underlying causes and properly diagnosing your condition is the first step to treatment. We then provide a holistic approach to helping patients and their families through their surgical journey. Properly supporting you and/or your child, while educating you on the details helps us ensure the most successful outcomes possible. Our hands on, team approach makes patients feel supported throughout the whole treatment process.

To learn more about your condition and receive a diagnosis, schedule a virtual consultation with one of our experienced orthopedic doctors. During this consultation, all your questions will be answered as our specialists guide you through the evaluation process.



Epiphysiodesis and Hemiepiphysiodesis


Gradual Lengthening with Internal Fixation


Gradual Limb Lengthening with External Fixation

Case studies

58 year old man With large LLD in left hip and femur
11 year old girl with LLD


Are you experiencing an orthopedic condition and would like to improve your physical capabilities?

Or you simply would like to achieve your long-lasting dream of improving your height?

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Highly specialized expert care at CLLC

At the Canadian Limb Lengthening Centre we offer complex deformity correction and limb lengthening surgeries performed by experienced surgeons with the most up to date technologies. When it comes to your care, and treatment of deformity and limb length discrepancy, our surgeons have extensive training and experience.