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Gait Posture. 2018 Jan;59:76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.09.024. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

3D gait analysis with and without an orthopedic walking boot.

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Movement Science Department, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA. Electronic address:
Movement Science Department, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA.



Orthopedic walking boots have been widely used in place of traditional fiberglass casts for a variety of orthopedic injuries and post-surgical interventions. These walking boots create a leg length discrepancy (LLD). LLD has been shown to alter the kinematics and kinetics of gait and are associated with lumbar and lower limb conditions such as: foot over pronation, low back pain, scoliosis, and osteoarthritis of the hip and knee joints. Past gait analyses research with orthopedic boots is limited to findings on the ipsilateral limb. Thus, the purpose of the study was to examine bilateral gait kinematics & kinetics with and without a walking boot.


Forty healthy participants (m=20, f=20, age 20.7±1.8 yrs., ht. 171.6±9.5cm, wt. 73.2±11.0kg, BMI 24.8±3.2) volunteered. An eight camera Vicon Motion Capture System with PIG model and two AMTI force plates were utilized to record the walking trial conditions: (1) bilateral tennis shoes (2) boot on right foot, tennis shoe on left foot (3) boot on right foot, barefoot on left foot. Data were processed in Nexus 2.2.3 and exported to Visual 3D for analysis.


When wearing the boot, there were significant differences in most joint angles and moments, with larger effects on long limb.


The walking boot alters the gait in the same way as those with existing LLD, putting them at risk for development of secondary knee, hip, and low back pain during treatment protocol.


Asymmetry; Boot; Gait; Leg length discrepancy; Orthopedic

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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