Functional Leg Length Test

Orthopedic Exam / Special Tests for Physical Therapy: Hip, Ankle and Foot

Special Test: Functional Leg Length Test


  • Functional Leg length difference resulting from hip, knee or ankle and foot problems.

** Functional leg length differences usually occur as a result of muscular weakness or inflexibility at the pelvis or foot and ankle complex. Example causes are pelvic obliquity, adduction or flexion contractures of the hip, genu varum, valgum or recurvatum, calcaneovalgus, equinovarus and rearfoot pronation. These can create a situation that mimicks a leg length difference.

Video Demo Instructions, Procedure, Positive Test:

Functional Leg Length Special Test: Video Instructions (Procedure below)

Orthopedic Exam: Functional Leg Length Test: PROCEDURE: 

  • patient stands in normal relaxed stance
  • examiner palpates ASIS and PSIS and notes any differences
  • examiner then positions the patient so that subtalar joints are neutral, toes pointed forward and the knees are straight
  • examiner re-evaluates ASIS and PSIS

Orthopedic Exam: Functional Leg Length Test: POSITIVE TEST:

  • Difference in leg length disappear.