The influence of a bespoke unloader knee brace on gait in medial compartment osteoarthritis - a pilot study
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Background: Patients suffering from mild-to-moderate medial compartment knee osteoarthritis may be treated with an unloader knee orthosis. However, compliance has been shown to be an issue with such devices. Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the effects of a new design of knee unloader orthosis on specific gait parameters in patients with mild-to-moderate medial knee osteoarthritis. Methods: The gait of seven patients was assessed in two conditions: without an orthosis and when wearing a new design of unloader knee orthosis. Gait analysis was performed to determine alterations to the adduction moment, speed of walking, step length, cadence and knee sagittal plane range of motion during ambulation for the two test conditions. Results: The knee adduction moment was significantly reduced (p = 0.001), and the speed of walking significantly increased (p < 0.001) when wearing the orthosis. However, a reduction in knee range of motion (p = 0.002) and an increase in step length (p < 0.001) were observed with the orthosis donned. Cadence was not significantly altered (p = 0.504). Conclusion: The use of a new design of unloader knee orthosis as a conservative treatment approach for patients with mild-to-moderate medial compartment osteoarthritis appears warranted. Clinical relevance Various conservative modalities have been used to reduce pain and improve function in medial compartment osteoarthritis. A new design of an unloader knee orthosis has been developed and is shown to have immediate benefits in patients with mild medial knee osteoarthritis.
Prosthetics and Orthotics International
Arazpour, M., Hutchins, S.W., Bani, M.A., Curran, S. and Aksenov, A. (2014) 'The influence of a bespoke unloader knee brace on gait in medial compartment osteoarthritis: a pilot study', Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 38(5), pp.379-386.
This article was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International on October 2014 (online February 14, 2014) available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309364613504780
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