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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 20;10(4):e0124745. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124745. eCollection 2015.

Differences in Gait Characteristics of Patients with Lumbar Spinal Canal Stenosis (L4 Radiculopathy) and Those with Osteoarthritis of the Hip.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kouseiren Takaoka Hospital, Takaoka, Japan.
School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan.


It is important to differentially diagnose thigh pain from lumbar spinal stenosis (particularly lumbar fourth nerve root radiculopathy) and osteoarthritis of the hip. In this study, using a treadmill and a motion analysis method, gait characteristics were compared between these conditions. Patients with lumbar fourth nerve root radiculopathy had increased physiological knee flexion immediately after foot-ground contact, possibly owing to a slight decrease in the muscle strength of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Patients with osteoarthritis of the hip had decreased range of motion of the hip joint probably due to anatomically limited mobility as well as gait strategy to avoid pain resulting from increased internal pressure on the hip joint during its extension. Our facile and noninvasive method can be useful for the differential diagnosis of lumbar spinal canal stenosis from osteoarthritis of the hip.

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