Differences in gait characteristics between total hip, knee, and ankle arthroplasty patients: a six-month postoperative comparison.
Total hip (THA) and knee arthroplasty (TKA) are currently the most effective surgical interventions for end-stage hip and knee arthritis with better outcomes in THA patients. Modern three-component ankle implants (TAA) provide long-term clinical outcomes comparable to those of ankle arthrodesis with minimized deterioration in walking function. As recovery of gait ability is one primary goal, this study aimed at objectively comparing gait differences of patients six months after unilateral THA, TKA and TAA with healthy controls.
Spatiotemporal gait parameters of 78 patients (n=26 in each group) were evaluated bilaterally at a self-selected normal and fast speed using an electronic walkway for gait analysis (GAITRite). After surgery, patients received the same postoperative medical care. However, physical therapy was neither standardized nor quantified. Another major limitation was that gait function was not assessed preoperatively.
Gait analysis revealed a proximal to distal progression in the impairment six months after surgery. THA patients did not demonstrate significant disturbances in gait compared to healthy controls. TAA and TKA demonstrated slower walking velocity and shorter single leg stance of the involved limb. Furthermore, TAA patients presented marked side-to-side asymmetries, representing a risk factor for osteoarthritis in contralateral lower limb joints. > From: Casartelli et al., BMC Musculoskelet Disord 14 (2013) 176. All rights reserved to BioMed Central Ltd.
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