The University of Arizona


I Teo, J Thompson, YN Neo, S Lundie, DA Munnoch


Upper limb dominance is associated with increased limb volume, however there is a paucity of evidence if this is true for the lower limbs. This study investigated if there is a normative volume difference between the dominant and nondominant leg. Healthy volunteers between the ages of 18-40 years were recruited. Exclusion criteria included previous lower limb surgery, BMI >30, or pregnancy. An experienced lymphedema nurse specialist measured the circumference of each limb at 4 cm intervals from the malleolus to the groin. Measurements were used to calculate volume of each limb in milliliters. 100 (52 male, 48 female) participants met our inclusion criteria. 86% were right leg dominant and 14% left leg dominant. 93% demonstrated an average increased volume of 349 ml (4.5%) in the dominant leg which is statistically significant (p<0.001). Age, sports, and gender did not affect lower limb volumes. This is the first study to show a normative variance in leg volume in healthy individuals, with a greater volume in the dominant leg. This should be taken into consideration when managing and measuring outcomes for patients with conditions resulting in enlarged lower limbs.

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