Leg Length Inequalities/achilles Tendon/flat Feet/cerebral Palsy

Updated on May 06, 2010
L.B. asks from Midland, TX
6 answers

My son is four and has some flat feet (as well as his daddy). Inquired about it to his pedi and he discovered a difference in his leg length. Recommended an insert in one shoe so it would compensate during the next growth spurt. I had a pending appt with a podiatrist for the flat feet and he recommended orthotics for the flat feet. We were referred to the local rehab for the shoe inserts and the PT there wanted us to see the visiting pediatric orthopedist. Upon her examination she said he has a spasticity in one foot with a tightened achilles tendon that she thought was due to cerebral palsy. She has recommended AFO braces. His hip x-rays showed to be normal and the pedi orthopedist wasn't concerned about the leg length. However, she did not measure them to see how great the difference was.

Needless to say, I am at a loss and quite confused somewhat. We have a pending appt for his pedi for me to go over all this with him and have him specifically look for signs of cerebral palsy. Has anyone dealt with any issues related to this? I'm anxious to hear your experiences.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all your responses. Spoke to his pedi today (hooray for someone I trust). He didn't feel it was cerebral palsy because it was limited to one limb. He felt strong that it was the leg length inequality causing the spastic achilles tendon. Recommended to AFO for six months and maybe kinesio taping to help stretch the tendon. Peace is a GREAT pediatrician. Thank you God for having him accept my children into his practice, which has been closed for some time now.

More Answers



answers from Austin on

Sounds like the traveling specialist should have explained cerebral palsy a little more...before starting braces etc., you might seek a second opinion of a different specialist, one who could explain this better. We went to Anthony Kahn in Austin, Texas who is also a pediatric orthopedist near Children's Hospital here.

When we went in we were concerned about bowl legs and maybe one longer than the other. The dr. pointed out an indentation above the rectum that might be a sign of spina bifida but didn't have us do braces or anything except to watch for signs that he didn't want to walk because of pain. Dr. Kahn was very good at explaining answers to our question and calming our fears. So far no problems, and our son is amazing in his athleticism.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from College Station on

I think this definitely calls for a second opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I just wanted to suggest you take him to a Shriner's Hospital for evaluation. there's one in houston, not sure how close that is to you. all their care is free, so it could save you a bundle on orthotics, specialists, etc.



answers from Sioux Falls on

His differnce in leg length can simply be his hips or lower back may be subluxated. A pediatric chiropractor can give him a quick and inexpensive exam. My office sees it alot! Orthodics for his flat feet will help him tremendously. I myself have flat feet with the tendon not long enough. I was advised by a podiatrist to have a tendon transplant, which I elected not to do. I stretch regularly and always wear orthodics. I cannot walk properly without, due to severe overpronation (fallen arch or flat feet) If he is treated as a child and wears good shoes with orthodics, he should be ok. I use Footleveler's orthodics. They are custom molded and would cost around $100 for a child. Your chiropractor can mold or scan his feet.



answers from Washington DC on

Its like you just wrote my childhood!

I went through everything you just described. My recommendation is for the pediatric orthopedist to become the main caregiver. He can offer orders for PT, shoe inserts, braces, etc.

The benefit of having the insert have the leg length adjustment is that its portable to new shoes, and your son can where the current fashions.

I have had the shoe braces, both day and nighttime, PT for achilles tendon, 3 surgeries, etc. My achilles surgery was when I was 17 and basically done growing.

Another recommendation of mine is to have your son visit a chiropracter to see if there are any alignment issues since there is a leg length descrepancy, and to have him be in some sort of overall PT maintanence or stretching routine to keep the muscles limber.




answers from San Antonio on

My youngest has had this!!! But he has very high arches and had one leg longer for about a year. It was causing great hip and back pain for him...that's how we found it. And my son was a "toe walker" for years and that shortened his Achilles. Stretches can help with that, if it's not too severe.

Get a second opinion. Have the legs measured well by a doc/ PT who has experience doing this. Every time we have something new come up, I do online research. So research : leg length discrepancy

Not everything on the internet is true about medical situations (duh....) but I use the research to help me ask many and better questions about my kids.

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