Asymmetry

  • Is it possible for the body to develop asymmetrically, especially in head to toe dimensions (so where one side of the body develops at a different rate than the other)? What can be done about this?

    Yes, this is a possibility although not common and is known as Hemihypertrophy. In certain cases this can be connected with the complication known as primary lymphedema. This is a disorder of the lymph vessels which regulate the fluid balance in the body. With primary lymphedema there are too few lymph vessels to properly drain the body of fluids. As a result, one side of the body can become thicker than the other side.

    When should any intervention be considered if there is a difference in leg lengths?

    In The Netherlands the guideline is that physical intervention is only appropriate when the difference in leg length is larger than 3cm. In addition, it should be noted that the age of the patient also plays an important role in deciding when to intervene.

    Can asymmetry also develop at a later age?

    Only during the growth years generally speaking.