June 29, 2015
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Routine gait analysis may be a helpful guide for post-TKA rehabilitation

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Many patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty did not experience improvement in their gait relative to preoperative patients by 12 months postoperatively; however, use of routine gait analysis was helpful for guiding patients’ postoperative rehabilitation and may be useful for developing strategies for mobility improvement, according to researchers’ findings.

Using inertial measurement units, the researchers assessed gait among 29 preoperative total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients, 17 patients at 8 weeks postoperatively, 28 patients at 52 weeks postoperatively and 29 age-matched controls. The researchers also calculated limb segment angles, knee angle and temporal parameters of gait.

At 12 months, results showed slight improvement of gait among TKA patients as a group vs. the preoperative group. Both groups were also significantly different than controls in several variables, according to the researchers.

For discriminating between patients and controls, the researchers found knee flexion range in stance was the most important variable, whereas the only variable that showed a significant difference between pre- and postoperative patients was knee flexion range in swing.

One out of 29 patients was within the normal range for knee flexion range in swing preoperatively when considered individually, according to study results. However, nine out of 28 patients had a normal knee flexion range in swing at 12 months postoperatively. – by Casey Tingle

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.