Can a fall from a height shorten one’s leg even if the bone is not broken?

Could the length of one’s leg be shortened slightly by a fall from 20 feet, where the fall did not seem to cause any breakage or fracture in the leg bone? Could the perceived shortening be caused by a curvature of the spine. One leg was always marginally shorter than the other, but is it possible that the fall made it worse?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes. The spongy material that protects one bone from another gradually becomes eroded over life, with use. In fact, over the day, you get shorter, but at night, when you rest, almost all that height is returned to you.

    Almost. And if you abuse your body by doing the same hard, repetitive exercise repeatedly over years — it will have an effect.

    You could damage the padding between your bones in a single accident, so that it did not completely recover. These days, hip and knee replacements are relatively routine, so even in old age, you don’t need to be unduly worried.

    (Note that most people’s legs are different lengths. People will recognize this, as soon as it’s pointed out to them by a doctor. There’s nothing abnormal about it, possibly even there’s probably some obscure survival trait associated with it — perhaps that you can pivot more quickly on the long leg, if the shorter one is already carrying the lighter load??)

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