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Altered Gait Patterns in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis and Knee Instability

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics November 08, 2016


Farrokhi et al. sought to characterise gait patterns of patients with Knee osteoarthritis (KO) and knee instability.

17 participants with KO and self-reported knee instability were chosen for the study, along with 36 participants with KO and no self-reported knee instability.

Both groups were made to walk along an 8.5m walkway at a pace of their choice.

An 8-camera motion-measurement system was used to capture 3-D motion data which was synchronised with ground reaction forces.

Patients with KO and self-reported knee instability were found to have greater odds of experiencing moderate to severe pain whilst walking (59% versus 25%; OR = 6.0; 95% CI: 1.2, 28.9; P = .03).

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Additionally, they were found to experience moderate to severe difficulty whilst walking on flat surfaces (41% versus 14%; OR = 10.7; 95% CI: 1.7, 69.2; P = .01).

There was also greater knee motion excursion in the unstable-knee group, during early stance compared to the stable-knee group (P = .02).

This group walked with lower total support moment (P < .01) with reduced contributions from the hip extensors (P < .01) and ankle plantar flexors (P = .04).

The unstable-knee group demonstrated greater knee extensor contribution to the lower extremity support moment (P = .04) during the initial knee extension phase of gait when compared to the stable-knee group.

Hence the study established that individuals with KO and knee instability experience significantly greater levels of pain and difficulty while walking on flat surfaces, implying significant alterations in the hip, knee and ankle joint function during stance phase of gait.

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  1. Shawn Farrokhi, Megan O’Connell, Alexandra B. Gil, Patrick J. Sparto and G. Kelley Fitzgerald (2015) Altered Gait Characteristics in Individuals With Knee Osteoarthritis and Self-Reported Knee Instability. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy: May 2015, Vol. 45, No. 5, pp. 351-359. 

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