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1. Citation: Campbell, T. M., Ghaedi, B. B., Ghogomu, E. T., Welch, V. (2018). Shoe lifts for leg length discrepancy in adults with common painful musculoskeletal conditions: A systematic review of the literature. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 99(5), 981-993, 993.e1-993.e2.
Keywords: Arthritis, back pain, limbs, literature reviews, musculoskeletal disorders, outcomes, pain, rehabilitation, scoliosis
Abstract: Study examined the literature and evidence on the use of shoe lifts for the treatment of leg length discrepancy (LLD) in adults with common painful musculoskeletal conditions. A literature search was performed in multiple databases to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled intervention, cohort, before-and-after, case series, and case report studies. Three-hundred and nineteen articles were screened; 10 studies, including 1 RCT, met the inclusion criteria; and 9 guidelines were reviewed. Data were extracted pertaining to participant demographic characteristics, study setting, recruitment, randomization, method of LLD measurement, shoe lift characteristics, treatment duration, and outcome measures. Findings showed LLD was associated with low back pain, scoliosis, and osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Description of LLD correction strategy was often inadequate. Study quality was very low or poor. In non-RCT studies reporting on the proportion of participants who improved with a shoe lift, 88 percent of 349 participants treated had partial or complete pain relief. All 22 RCT participants receiving treatment experienced pain relief (mean pain reduction, 27 millimeters on a 150-millimeter visual analog scale). Two of the 9 guidelines recommended shoe lift use based on consensus and were of moderate-to-high quality. There is low-quality evidence that shoe lifts reduce pain and improve function in patients with LLD and common painful musculoskeletal conditions. High-quality research evaluating a threshold LLD to correct and a strategy to do so is necessary. Developing an appropriate comparison group to test clinically relevant outcome measures would make a valuable contribution in this regard.
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Record Updated:2018-10-23

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