Knee biomechanics of moderate OA patients measured during gait at a self-selected and fast walking speed

Scott C Landry, Kelly A McKean, Cheryl L Hubley-Kozey, William D Stanish, Kevin J Deluzio
Journal of Biomechanics 2007, 40 (8): 1754-61
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disorder resulting in degenerative changes to the knee joint. Three-dimensional gait analysis provides a unique method of measuring knee dynamics during activities of daily living such as walking. The purpose of this study was to identify biomechanical features characterizing the gait of patients with mild-to-moderate knee OA and to determine if the biomechanical differences become more pronounced as the locomotor system is stressed by walking faster. Principal component analysis was used to compare the gait patterns of a moderate knee OA group (n=41) and a control group (n=43). The subjects walked at their self-selected speed as well as at 150% of that speed. The two subject groups did not differ in knee joint angles, stride length, and stride time or walking speed. Differences in the magnitude and shape of the knee joint moment waveforms were found between the two groups. The OA group had larger adduction moment magnitudes during stance and this higher magnitude was sustained for a longer portion of the gait cycle. The OA group also had a reduced flexion moment and a reduced external rotation moment during early stance. Increasing speed was associated with an increase in the magnitude of all joint moments. The fast walks did not, however, increase or bring out any biomechanical differences between the OA and control groups that did not exist at the self-selected walks.

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