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Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Posted by Heather G on 6/06/02 at 17:51 (086592)

Hey there.

After being treated for scoliosis and the back pain associated with it -- and much research into where the problem really is.. and *many* x-rays *grin*

Finally the realization was made that my left leg is 21mm shorter then my right (from knee to ankle). Forgive the laymens terms. *smiles* Well, once this realization was made I have been wearing a lift in my shoe, gradually building up to 17mm.. but, as many of you can imagine, as I get close to a one inch padding in my shoe, there is little room for my foot!

So I am hoping I can reach someone that has had to deal with a correction like this. Doctor or patient.. for some guidance. The shoe company my doctor uses only adjusts up to 10mm.. which is not nearly enough.

Thanks.
~Heather

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

BGCPed on 6/06/02 at 19:07 (086595)

Once you determine the correct amount of lift, this is done somewhat trial and error. The Dr can tell you almost the exact amount but your body may only tolerate 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount corrected.That much lift under the heel is mechanically bad for your foot, knee and leg, it jacks up your heel on one foot while the other is flat.

I would suggest you split some of the difference, meaning put about 9mm lift inside the shoe and have the rest built up on the outside. There are shoe repair or cpeds that can ,make it look just like the other. A shoe that is all black with a black upper is the best since it hides it.

There are extra depth shoes that have more room inside to tolerate more lift. Once you get the lift that you do best with that can be replicated in other shoes. If that amount is all in your tibia, between the knee and ankle, it is what we call 'fixed' meaning it is always there not like a pelvic tilt from say a muscle imbalance or spinal curve.

That amount is really not that hard to deal with, let me know if you have no luck, you may want to try another person

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Heather G on 6/06/02 at 21:33 (086610)

*nods*

Forgive my ignorance.. but why is the splitting the correction to a lift being inside the shoe and built up on the outside any different then having the adjustment all in one place? Why is that easier on the body.. and the all-in-one harder?

I am assuming a long-term solution insert would not be a wedge. I could see where walking on a one inch wedge would be a strain over time.. like having one foot in high heels constantly. But my understanding is build up othrotics would not be a wedge.. Besides the fact that it doesn't fit, and pushes my heel out of the shoe *winks*

*trying to understand* This is all new to me *smiles*

Currently that is the option I am considering, since the custom shoe place only builds up to 10mm (Orthotic custom shoes) I would still need more, and he was suggesting going to a second place to build up the shoe from the outside. But not for the reasons you stated, just out of necessity.

Thank you for helping me understand all this. It can be unnerving when something is wrong with our bodies.. amazing how even the smallest thing being out of whack can affect so many other areas.

~Heather

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

BGCPed on 6/07/02 at 08:21 (086641)

You can have it all on outside, just some people are not happy for cosmetic reasons. The best is to get an orthotic for both feet and have some lift put on the short side.You can put all of it on the shoe but some places charge more by the thickness and having many shoes done can get costly. Did your Dr tell you that you really need custom shoes? Their are several less expensive methods unless your foot is very odd or assymetrical from the other one you should be able to just use a good off the shelf depth shoe.

I have a pt that has a 1' lld and she is a very stylisg dresser. We put tha lift on about 2 shoes per month even dress type with crepe sole. Etienne Aigner is a brand that makes some nice support type dress shoes that have a nice wide toe box and a soft upper. Many places do things differently. I would discuss your concerns with the person making them. I dont understand that a place would only do a certain amount of lift but send you out to get more(may get charged 2 times for same shoe)

The grind off on the sole is also very important.If the toe and heel are too flat it can upset your gait, which over time can cause other problems. You want it done by a person that does lifts often. Some old shoe cobblers are good at this

Hope I didnt confuse you more. Maybe Richard can add to this

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Heather G on 6/07/02 at 14:40 (086681)

My doctor has admitted this is new to him. He very rarely deals with people that have scoliosis from a leg length difference and not vice versa (Where the apparent leg length difference is an effect of the spinal curvature, not a cause) He has dealt with people with a leg difference before, but not as great as mine.. and not without some outside force that damaged the leg.

So we are becoming comfortable with new territory together.

I tried calling other offices in the area, to get a second opinion, or see if another doctor would sit down and have a consultation with me.. I had little luck at all. The one podiatrist I did go see kept pushing a pair of orthotics *both* built up the same amount, ignoring the information I was presenting to him and wanting the 375 dollar sale.

It was really disheartening.

I was in a great deal of pain before the lift was added to my left side. My spinal cord shows the beginnings of wear and tear from the vertebrae rubbing on one another.

Like I said.. I have been through a *ton* of x-rays. The radiologist was actually separate from the doctor that I was seeing for back troubles. (I had x-rays taken at HealthSouth) I have had to be aggressive with this from the start.. since, as I mentioned, my doctor was reluctant to believe that I could have a discrepancy in the first place, much less one as significant as this.

Over the last few months he has slowly increased my lift. Starting with a 9mm, moving to 12mm, and now a 17mm adjustment. Every increase my body has taken well. Little, if any discomfort, and generally a great alleviation of pain. My back pain is essentially non-existent now.

The orthotics are covered by insurance. Wearing two plastic wedges in my shoes to get the combined lift of 17mm does not feel like a permanent solution, and I cannot tie my tennis shoes with it in.. much less hope to wear something appropriate for work. Unfortunately, the company he uses for orthotics says their max is 10mm for building a shoe up (internally I assume) Which means ordering the shoes from them, and then taking them to another place to get them build up from the outside for the remainder of the correction. This is with a company called Foot Levelers.

If you have a recommendation for a place that could do the entire correction in one, that would be fantastic. I would rather deal with one company, preferably one with some experience in corrections of this nature.

Again, thank you for your insight on this.
~Heather

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

BGCPed on 6/07/02 at 18:43 (086718)

What area are you located in? The work you need is not that complicated. If you feel 17 mm is ok to you and if you stand with equal wt on both legs without feeling the need to bend one leg or shift wt I would just go to a shoe repair with a shoe like a new balance ww 810, they come in black, white or cream. If your Dr will right a script for a 17 mm build up have the cobbler remove the outer layer of the sole and do the buildup.

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Heather G on 6/07/02 at 21:16 (086733)

I am in Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas.

At 17mm I still shift my hips noticably, but building up any higher by inserts is uncomfortable -- as I mentioned -- It pushes my foot out of the shoe *smiles*

~Heather

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

BGCPed on 6/06/02 at 19:07 (086595)

Once you determine the correct amount of lift, this is done somewhat trial and error. The Dr can tell you almost the exact amount but your body may only tolerate 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount corrected.That much lift under the heel is mechanically bad for your foot, knee and leg, it jacks up your heel on one foot while the other is flat.

I would suggest you split some of the difference, meaning put about 9mm lift inside the shoe and have the rest built up on the outside. There are shoe repair or cpeds that can ,make it look just like the other. A shoe that is all black with a black upper is the best since it hides it.

There are extra depth shoes that have more room inside to tolerate more lift. Once you get the lift that you do best with that can be replicated in other shoes. If that amount is all in your tibia, between the knee and ankle, it is what we call 'fixed' meaning it is always there not like a pelvic tilt from say a muscle imbalance or spinal curve.

That amount is really not that hard to deal with, let me know if you have no luck, you may want to try another person

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Heather G on 6/06/02 at 21:33 (086610)

*nods*

Forgive my ignorance.. but why is the splitting the correction to a lift being inside the shoe and built up on the outside any different then having the adjustment all in one place? Why is that easier on the body.. and the all-in-one harder?

I am assuming a long-term solution insert would not be a wedge. I could see where walking on a one inch wedge would be a strain over time.. like having one foot in high heels constantly. But my understanding is build up othrotics would not be a wedge.. Besides the fact that it doesn't fit, and pushes my heel out of the shoe *winks*

*trying to understand* This is all new to me *smiles*

Currently that is the option I am considering, since the custom shoe place only builds up to 10mm (Orthotic custom shoes) I would still need more, and he was suggesting going to a second place to build up the shoe from the outside. But not for the reasons you stated, just out of necessity.

Thank you for helping me understand all this. It can be unnerving when something is wrong with our bodies.. amazing how even the smallest thing being out of whack can affect so many other areas.

~Heather

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

BGCPed on 6/07/02 at 08:21 (086641)

You can have it all on outside, just some people are not happy for cosmetic reasons. The best is to get an orthotic for both feet and have some lift put on the short side.You can put all of it on the shoe but some places charge more by the thickness and having many shoes done can get costly. Did your Dr tell you that you really need custom shoes? Their are several less expensive methods unless your foot is very odd or assymetrical from the other one you should be able to just use a good off the shelf depth shoe.

I have a pt that has a 1' lld and she is a very stylisg dresser. We put tha lift on about 2 shoes per month even dress type with crepe sole. Etienne Aigner is a brand that makes some nice support type dress shoes that have a nice wide toe box and a soft upper. Many places do things differently. I would discuss your concerns with the person making them. I dont understand that a place would only do a certain amount of lift but send you out to get more(may get charged 2 times for same shoe)

The grind off on the sole is also very important.If the toe and heel are too flat it can upset your gait, which over time can cause other problems. You want it done by a person that does lifts often. Some old shoe cobblers are good at this

Hope I didnt confuse you more. Maybe Richard can add to this

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Heather G on 6/07/02 at 14:40 (086681)

My doctor has admitted this is new to him. He very rarely deals with people that have scoliosis from a leg length difference and not vice versa (Where the apparent leg length difference is an effect of the spinal curvature, not a cause) He has dealt with people with a leg difference before, but not as great as mine.. and not without some outside force that damaged the leg.

So we are becoming comfortable with new territory together.

I tried calling other offices in the area, to get a second opinion, or see if another doctor would sit down and have a consultation with me.. I had little luck at all. The one podiatrist I did go see kept pushing a pair of orthotics *both* built up the same amount, ignoring the information I was presenting to him and wanting the 375 dollar sale.

It was really disheartening.

I was in a great deal of pain before the lift was added to my left side. My spinal cord shows the beginnings of wear and tear from the vertebrae rubbing on one another.

Like I said.. I have been through a *ton* of x-rays. The radiologist was actually separate from the doctor that I was seeing for back troubles. (I had x-rays taken at HealthSouth) I have had to be aggressive with this from the start.. since, as I mentioned, my doctor was reluctant to believe that I could have a discrepancy in the first place, much less one as significant as this.

Over the last few months he has slowly increased my lift. Starting with a 9mm, moving to 12mm, and now a 17mm adjustment. Every increase my body has taken well. Little, if any discomfort, and generally a great alleviation of pain. My back pain is essentially non-existent now.

The orthotics are covered by insurance. Wearing two plastic wedges in my shoes to get the combined lift of 17mm does not feel like a permanent solution, and I cannot tie my tennis shoes with it in.. much less hope to wear something appropriate for work. Unfortunately, the company he uses for orthotics says their max is 10mm for building a shoe up (internally I assume) Which means ordering the shoes from them, and then taking them to another place to get them build up from the outside for the remainder of the correction. This is with a company called Foot Levelers.

If you have a recommendation for a place that could do the entire correction in one, that would be fantastic. I would rather deal with one company, preferably one with some experience in corrections of this nature.

Again, thank you for your insight on this.
~Heather

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

BGCPed on 6/07/02 at 18:43 (086718)

What area are you located in? The work you need is not that complicated. If you feel 17 mm is ok to you and if you stand with equal wt on both legs without feeling the need to bend one leg or shift wt I would just go to a shoe repair with a shoe like a new balance ww 810, they come in black, white or cream. If your Dr will right a script for a 17 mm build up have the cobbler remove the outer layer of the sole and do the buildup.

Re: Looking for help finding correctional shoes for 21mm leg length difference *smiles*

Heather G on 6/07/02 at 21:16 (086733)

I am in Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas.

At 17mm I still shift my hips noticably, but building up any higher by inserts is uncomfortable -- as I mentioned -- It pushes my foot out of the shoe *smiles*

~Heather