Has your child been diagnosed with leg length discrepancy? Has your physical or occupational therapist recommended a pair of heel lifts to be fitted inside your kids’ shoes? I know this might sound like a serious issue, but you shouldn’t panic.
Leg length discrepancy in kids is more common than you’d think and the cause remains unknown. The greater the discrepancy between the legs, the more problems this can cause!
What is leg length discrepancy? It is an orthopedic problem that usually appears in young children, in which a child’s two legs are of unequal length. Basically this means that your kid’s legs are slightly different lengths, with one being longer than the other.
I have been working at a specialized children shoe store for over 10 years now, and we help children who have orthopedic problems. I have fitted several children that have leg length discrepancy in the correct pair of shoes and heel lifts, and they make a huge difference in improving the way your child walks and runs. You will also notice an improvement in your child’s posture right away.
The main issue with leaving leg length discrepancy untreated is that it might lead to knee, hip, and lower back pain in the future.
If your kid’s final leg length discrepancy is less than 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) at full height then no treatment is required, but if your child is experiencing foot or leg pain due to the discrepancy, then surgeons often recommend a heel lift as an alternative to a surgical approach.
Did you know that wearing the right type of shoes and heel lifts may be all your child needs to reduce or completely eliminate the pain they are experiencing?
Let me show you a selection of the best shoes and heel lifts for a child that has leg length discrepancy.
What are Some of the Causes for Leg Length Discrepancy in Kids?
Some of the possible causes include:
- An injury or infection that slows down the growth of one leg bone.
- An injury to the growth plate that slows down bone growth in that leg.
- A fracture to a leg bone that might cause overgrowth of the bone as it heals.
- A hereditary problem.
- Certain conditions that affect the muscles and nerves, such as polio.
You might be asking yourself: What does a shoe fitter knows about leg length discrepancy? I actually helped several children that come to the store with a leg length discrepancy looking for shoes and heel lifts.
I am an expert in fitting heel lifts and shoes, and I have seen the positive impact that a good fitting shoe can have in their walking and running, and most importantly, how it can significantly reduce or completely eliminate any pain that your child might have been experiencing!
When Should you Take your Child to the Doctor?
As parents watch their children grow and begin to crawl, a discrepancy in leg length will usually become more obvious. If you believe or suspect that your child has a leg length discrepancy, you should take your child to be evaluated by your pediatrician or physical therapist.
Depending on the discrepancy between your kids’ leg lengths, your pediatrician will discuss treatment options carefully with you before any decisions are made. While I am not a doctor, I have learned that no treatment is generally required if your kid’s final leg length discrepancy is less than 2 centimeters at full height. However, if the discrepancy is more than 2 centimeters (0.8 inches), doctors might require surgery to shorten the longer leg or to lengthen the shorter leg.
Obviously the heel lift option is the most convenient and economical one, and it is not nearly as invasive. Something as simple as wearing the correct pair of shoes with a pair of heels lifts might be all that your child needs.
Prevent Long Term Problems By Taking Early Action – Good Shoes and Lifts!
If your kids are diagnosed with leg length discrepancy, they can still play and run around without any problems. However, like I mentioned before, if the child has more than 2 centimeters of leg length discrepancy and you don’t treat it, problems such as hip, back, and knee pain will arise as the child grows.
That is why it’s extremely important that you provide your children with the correct pair of heel lifts and shoes to improve the way they are walking, and to preventing them from putting more pressure on certain parts of their bodies where they are not supposed to. Wearing the right type of shoes will help them redistribute their body weight and prevent putting excess pressure on one of the feet and legs.
At the children’s shoe store that I work for we specialize in kids with foot issues that need special fitting shoes and orthotics. After fitting children in heel lifts through the years, I can tell you with confidence that no single heel lift product works best in every shoe. In most cases the doctor recommends the parent with a specific heel lift, but in certain cases parents need to purchase it on their own and this can create all sort of confusion and frustration. So let me make things easier for you!
I will show you the most popular and better-made heel lifts for kids. Firm in-compressible heel lifts are the most effective ones when it comes to treating leg length discrepancy in kids.
The Best Heel Lifts for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
These heel lifts below are ideal not only for children with leg-length discrepancies, but they are also excellent for those suffering from heel spurs and ankle pain!
Your kids’ will have a much better experience walking and running around in a pair of heel lifts, as long as they are paired with the right shoes. Below you can find a selection of the best heel lifts for children.
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
The Best Fitting Shoes for Heel Lifts ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Our main goal is to find shoes that will fit the heel lifts perfectly. Once we place the heel lifts inside the shoes, the lift should fit deep inside them, that way your kids won’t feel like their feet are coming out of the shoe when they walk or run.
For example, when I fit a child in an orthotic, I have to find a shoe that is deep, and the deeper the shoe, the better the orthotic will fit inside the shoe. I have fitted a selection of shoes that tend to work best with heel lifts, and I will share these shoe styles with you. We are basically looking for three things in the shoe:
- A very deep end for the lift to fit inside the shoe properly.
- A firm heel counter for ankle support.
- Good support for everyday walking and running.
I always recommend that parents take their kids to their local children’s shoe store to have their shoes properly fitted. However, if you don’t have a local shoe store, below you can find a selection of the best fitting shoes for heel lifts:
The shoes below will fit a child that has medium, wide, or extra wide feet (as long as you choose the width accordingly).
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
Now that you know what are the best shoes for heels lifts, your are ready to make the most a better and well informed decision! Don’t forget to provide your child with a good pair of socks, since these are just as important as shoes when it comes to keeping your kids’ feet comfortable and healthy.
If you want to find out which are the best socks for kids’ you should take a look at an article I wrote called:
Does your child have leg length discrepancy? How are you treating it? Have you find a pair of lifts and shoes that have worked well for your child’s feet? Please share your experiences below so we can all benefit from them!