Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unequal leg length tied to osteoarthritis, study finds

Date:
April 4, 2010
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
A new study shows that arthritis in the knee is linked to the common trait of having one leg that is longer than the other. Whether or not leg length differential is a direct cause of osteoarthritis is not clear, but the findings may allow people to take preventive measures before the onset of the chronic and painful condition.

Queen's University adjunct professor Derek Cooke studies misalignment and leg length differential.
Credit: Photo by Kristyn Wallace

A new study shows that arthritis in the knee is linked to the common trait of having one leg that is longer than the other. Whether or not leg length differential is a direct cause of osteoarthritis is not clear, but the findings may allow people to take preventive measures before the onset of the chronic and painful condition.

Developing early strategies for treatment may be possible, says Derek Cooke, Queen's University adjunct professor and a co-author of the study.

"Most pediatricians adopt a 'wait and see' attitude for children with limb misalignment when they're growing," says Dr. Cooke. "If we can spot factors creating changes in alignment early in bone development, theoretically we could stop or slow down the progression of osteoarthritis."

The data was collected using x-ray images from more than 3,000 adults aged 50 to 79 who either had knee pain or risk factors for knee osteoarthritis as a part of the Multi Centre Osteoarthritis Study (MOST). Subjects were reassessed after a 30-month period and the researchers found that osteoarthritic changes in the knee were most significant in individuals with pronounced (more than 1 cm) leg length inequality, the shorter leg being most affected.

Leg length inequality is difficult to detect. A small leg length differential -- 1 cm or less -- can be corrected with a shoe insert, while a bigger one can be corrected with surgery. But because the condition often goes undiagnosed, many people don't realize they have a leg length differential until they're diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

Arthritis in the knees can cause pain, swelling and stiffness, and limit mobility. Osteoarthritis is very common, affecting 1 in 10 Canadians. The older a person gets, the greater the chance he or she has of developing the disease.

OAISYS Inc. undertook the image analysis work, collecting the limb length and angles measurements for the MOST project.

William F Harvey from Boston University, currently at Tufts Medical Center, was the lead author on the paper, which was recently published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Queen's University was the only Canadian university involved in this international study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William F. Harvey, Mei Yang, Theodore D.v. Cooke, Neil A. Segal, Nancy Lane, Cora E. Lewis, and David T. Felson. Association of Leg-Length Inequality With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010; 152: 287-295 [link]

Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Unequal leg length tied to osteoarthritis, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331161625.htm>.
Queen's University. (2010, April 4). Unequal leg length tied to osteoarthritis, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331161625.htm
Queen's University. "Unequal leg length tied to osteoarthritis, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331161625.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins