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Keywords:

  • Lateral wedging;
  • Knee osteoarthritis;
  • Gait;
  • Biomechanics

Abstract

The use of lateral foot wedging in the management of medial knee osteoarthritis is under scrutiny. Interestingly, there have been minimal efforts to evaluate biomechanical effectiveness with long-term use. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate dynamic knee loading (assessed using the knee adduction moment) and other secondary gait parameters in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis wearing lateral foot wedging at a baseline visit and after 1 year of wear. Three-dimensional gait data were captured in an intervention group of 19 patients with symptomatic medial knee osteoarthritis wearing their prescribed laterally wedged foot orthoses at 0 and 12 months. Wedge amounts were prescribed based on symptom response to a step-down test. A control group of 19 patients wearing prescribed neutral orthoses were also captured at 0 and 12 months. The gait of the intervention group wearing neutral orthoses was additionally captured. Walking speed and shoes were controlled. Analyses of variance were conducted to examine for group-by-time (between the groups in their prescribed orthoses) and condition-by-time (within the intervention group) interactions, main effects, and simple effects. We observed increased knee adduction moments and frontal plane motion over time in the control group but not the intervention group. Further, within the intervention group, the mechanical effectiveness of the lateral wedging did not decrease. In patients with medial knee osteoarthritis, the effects of lateral foot wedging on pathomechanics associated with medial knee osteoarthritis were favorable and sustained over time. © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 31: 659–664, 2013