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Keywords:

  • knee osteoarthritis;
  • biomechanics;
  • load-altering intervention;
  • variable-stiffness shoes;
  • walking gait

Abstract

External knee adduction moment can be reduced using footwear interventions, but the exact changes in in vivo medial joint loading remain unknown. An instrumented knee replacement was used to assess changes in in vivo medial joint loading in a single patient walking with a variable-stiffness intervention shoe. We hypothesized that during walking with a load modifying variable-stiffness shoe intervention: (1) the first peak knee adduction moment will be reduced compared to a subject's personal shoes; (2) the first peak in vivo medial contact force will be reduced compared to personal shoes; and (3) the reduction in knee adduction moment will be correlated with the reduction in medial contact force. The instrumentation included a motion capture system, force plate, and the instrumented knee prosthesis. The intervention shoe reduced the first peak knee adduction moment (13.3%, p = 0.011) and medial compartment joint contact force (12.3%; p = 0.008) compared to the personal shoe. The change in first peak knee adduction moment was significantly correlated with the change in first peak medial contact force (R2 = 0.67, p = 0.007). Thus, for a single subject with a total knee prosthesis the variable-stiffness shoe reduces loading on the affected compartment of the joint. The reductions in the external knee adduction moment are indicative of reductions in in vivo medial compressive force with this intervention. © 2010 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 28:1548–1553, 2010