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Pelvic and Hip Kinematics During Walking in People With Patellofemoral Joint Osteoarthritis Compared to Healthy Age-Matched Controls.

OBJECTIVE: Patellofemoral (PF) joint osteoarthritis (OA) is common, yet little is known about how this condition influences lower-extremity biomechanical function. This study compared pelvis and lower-extremity kinematics in people with and without PF joint OA.

METHODS: Sixty-nine participants (64% women, mean ± SD age 56 ± 10 years) with anterior knee pain aggravated by PF joint-loaded activities (e.g., stair ambulation, rising from sitting, or squatting) and radiographic lateral PF joint OA on skyline radiographs were compared with 18 controls (78% women, mean ± SD age 53 ± 7 years) with no lower-extremity pain or radiographic OA. Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) data were collected from participants with PF joint OA. Quantitative gait analyses were conducted during overground walking at a self-selected speed. Pelvis and lower-extremity kinematics were calculated across the stance phase. Data were statistically analyzed using analyses of covariance, with age and sex as covariates (P < 0.05).

RESULTS: Participants with PF joint OA reported a mean ± SD KOOS pain subscale score of 65 ± 15, KOOS symptoms subscale score of 63 ± 16, KOOS activities of daily living subscale score of 73 ± 13, KOOS sports/recreation subscale score of 45 ± 23, and KOOS quality of life subscale score of 43 ± 16. Participants with PF joint OA walked with greater anterior pelvic tilt throughout the stance phase, as well as greater lateral pelvic tilt (i.e., pelvis lower on the contralateral side), greater hip adduction, and lower hip extension during the late stance phase. No differences in knee and ankle joint angles were observed between groups.

CONCLUSION: People with PF joint OA walk with altered pelvic and hip movement patterns compared with aged-matched controls. Restoring normal movement patterns during walking in people with PF joint OA may be warranted to help alleviate symptoms.

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