Limb Length Discrepancy

A child on crutches due to a limb lenght discrepancy

The world-renowned pediatric orthopedists at Nemours are experts at evaluating and treating children from birth through age 18 with limb length discrepancies and deformities. Our specialists take a multidisciplinary team approach to diagnose and correct limb inequalities using advanced, nonsurgical treatments (such as physical medicine and rehabilitation) and state-of-the-art, minimally invasive limb lengthening surgical procedures and limb reconstruction.

Read More About Limb Lengthening at Nemours

Recognized as international leaders and pioneers in pediatric orthopedics and orthopedic surgery, our specialists and care teams are dedicated to treating your child — not just the condition. Limb length discrepancy in children results from congenital malformations (defects present at birth), acquired problems (such as trauma) and certain diseases (neurofibromatosis, Blount disease). At Nemours, we understand the complex conditions and injuries that can cause functional discrepancy, and will work with you to understand available treatment options specific to your child’s needs.

When you come to Nemours, you can expect compassionate care in a family-centered environment. This means that every detail, from our medical care and support services to our facilities and amenities, were designed with you in mind. We value your opinion and encourage participation in your child’s care, because you know your child best.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals: Orthopedics
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Support Services & Information
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware: a safe, free, family-centered home away from home when your child is sick and needs to be hospitalized
  • CaringBridge: a free site offering support and communication to help your family through your child's medical journey.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, named one of the best children’s hospitals in the country for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report, has a comprehensive Limb Length Discrepancy Program that helps children from birth through age 18 with a limb deformity or an unequal limb length.

Your Limb Length Discrepancy Care Team

To provide a diagnostic evaluation and limb length discrepancy treatment designed to improve function and well-being, we rely on a team approach that combines the expertise of:

We also frequently consult with specialists from genetics, physical medicine and rehabilitation and Child Life to provide the most comprehensive range of services — all under one roof.

Limb Length Discrepancy Types We Treat
We treat a variety of limb length discrepancy conditions, including:
  • Congenital malformations, such as:
    • fibular hemimelia: absence of part of the fibula
    • congenital short femur: when a child is born with a short femur, the bone in the upper leg, between the hip and knee
    • hemihypertrophy: overgrowth of one side of the body
  • Acquired problems, such as:
    • trauma: bone fractures
    • infection that damages growth plates: resulting in severe shortening or deformities
  • Limb length discrepancy caused by disease:
    including neurofibromatosis and Blount’s disease
Comprehensive Treatment Options for Limb Length Discrepancy
At the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, we offer children both surgical and non-surgical treatment options for limb length discrepancy, including:
  • epiphysiodesis: surgical slowing of the growth of the longer leg
  • limb lengthening: using external devices and the latest emerging technologies
  • limb shortening
  • limb deformity correction
  • shoe lifts and bracing

Whatever kind of limb length discrepancy your child has, know that at Nemours we do whatever it takes to give your child the very best, most compassionate treatment possible. We treat every child as we would our own — your child, our promise.