leg length scans

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Most radiology facilities perform leg length scans lying down in a CT scanner. We take your leg length scan standing up, which tells your podiatrist a lot more about what is going on.

When podiatrists prescribe and manufacture orthotics they often correct for differences between the length of your legs. It is crucial to know what the actual difference in the lengths of the bones is. Sometimes leg length differences are due to “fallen” arches, pelvic “twists” or degeneration of joints (such as knees, hips or ankles). Orthotics for a leg length difference caused by a “fallen” arch will be very different to those for someone with an anatomically short leg.


It is nearly impossible to be sure whether an apparent leg length difference due to real differences or due to pelvic or foot issues. A standing leg length scan shows your podiatrist the difference.

Is it a flat foot, or is it a short leg?

Our clinic has a special interest in podiatry radiographic studies. We pay extra attention to answering the clinical questions asked by Central Coast Podiatrists, including performing specialised functional standing leg length studies, which demonstrate not only the actual difference in length between each leg, including measuring each femur and tibia, but also the effect that standing has on leg length.

Meet Gerry Gardner

Riverside Medical Imaging Chief Radiographer

Gerry holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Diagnostic Imaging as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Reporting of the Appendicular and Axial Skeleton. He also has a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Imaging for Ultrasound and has Certification in Clinical Bone Densitometry from the Australia & New Zealand Bone Mineral Society (ANZBMS).

These days I don’t add a heel lift to an orthotic without a functional leg length scan.
Bradley Moodie - Podiatrist
Many times a “short leg” turns out to be something other than different length bones. Leg length scans help me work that out.
Renee Carroll - Podiatrist

Case Study 1: 52 Year Old Female

A 52 year old female patient presented to a podiatrist, referred by a chiropractor who was treating her for marked low back pain. The chiropractor noted on a lumbopelvic x-ray that there appeared to be pelvic tilt and suspected an anatomically short leg. The patient was also complaining of severe right lateral knee pain and plantar fascial pain and pain around the navicular. The podiatrist referred for weight bearing functional leg length x-rays as well as a standard set of right foot x-rays (see below). The leg length films demonstrated a combination of anatomical and functional shortening of the right leg, and also demonstrated the cause of the lateral knee pain. They also demonstrated the marked biomechanical stresses on the right leg. The foot x-rays demonstrated the osteoarthritic change in the navicular-cunieform joint and the calcaneal spur. The patient was treated with orthotic therapy and a 6mm heel lift, which, in spite of a further MRI which demonstrated almost complete obliteration of her lateral meniscus, resulted in a marked improvement in her foot pain, knee pain and back pain.

Case Study 2: 70 Year Old Male

A 70 year old male patient with tibia and fibula fractures, many years before. Although an open reduction had been considered, a closed reduction was performed. The patient presented in shoes with a 22 mm heel build up. The patient’s x-rays were captured standing, in the shoes with the 22 mm build up under the right heel. See the images, below. These demonstrate a 24.9 mm discrepancy between the lengths of the legs, with the right being shorter. On the individual bones, the femur lengths are within the 1 mm margin of error. The tibial lengths, however, exhibit a marked discrepancy, and there is deformity of the right tibia and fibula from the prior trauma. The distal third of the fibula has fused with the tibia, and mild osteoarthritis is also noted in the right ankle.

We perform leg length scans Monday to Friday.

A leg length scan usually takes about minutes, depending on your mobility. The results go directly to your referring practitioner, along with a report by a Specialist. If you have any questions, please get in touch.


You can book online for X-Rays, Standing Leg Length X-Rays, and Bone Densities. For other scans such as CT Scans, MRI, Ultrasounds and Dental x-rays, these are not performed at our location. Please contact PRP Imaging to have those scans performed.