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Swing limb mechanics and minimum toe clearance in people with knee osteoarthritis

Levinger, Pazit and Lai, Daniel and Menz, Hylton and Morrow, Adam and Feller, Julian A and Bartlett, John R and Bergman, Neil R and Begg, Rezaul (2011) Swing limb mechanics and minimum toe clearance in people with knee osteoarthritis. Gait and Posture, 35 (2). pp. 277-281. ISSN 0966-6362

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Abstract

Objective Knee osteoarthritis (OA) has been shown to be a risk factor for falls. Reductions in foot clearance during the swing phase of walking can cause a trip and potentially lead to a fall. This study examined the swing phase mechanics of people with and without knee OA during walking. Design Minimum toe clearance (MTC) height, joint angles at the time of MTC and the influence of the angular changes of the hip, knee and ankle of the swing leg on foot clearance using sensitivity analysis were investigated in 50 knee OA participants and 28 age-matched asymptomatic controls. Results Although both groups had a similar MTC height (controls: 12.8 ± 6.7 mm, knee OA: 13.4 ± 7.0 mm), the knee OA group used a different strategy to achieve the same foot clearance, as evidenced by greater knee flexion (52.5 ± 5.3° vs 49.4 ± 4.8°, p = 0.007), greater hip abduction (−3.6 ± 3.3° vs −1.8 ± 3.3°, p = 0.03) and less ankle adduction (2.8 ± 1.9° vs 4.2 ± 2.1°, p = 0.01). Conclusion MTC height was comparable between the groups, however a different swing phase mechanism was used by the knee OA. Although adequate MTC is an important component of safe locomotion, it does not appear to be impaired in people with knee OA. Other factors, such as inadequate responses to postural perturbation, may be responsible for falls in this group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID22850, ResPubID25382, knee osteoarthritis, minimum foot clearance, walking, falls
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1116 Medical Physiology
SEO Classification > 9202 Health and Support Services
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2012 00:41
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 00:13
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/7632
DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.09.020
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Citations in Scopus: 4 - View on Scopus

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