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J Biomech. 2018 Jan 3;66:103-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.11.003. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Subject-specific toe-in or toe-out gait modifications reduce the larger knee adduction moment peak more than a non-personalized approach.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States; Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States. Electronic address: suhlrich@stanford.edu.
2
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States; Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States.
3
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States; Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, United States.

Abstract

The knee adduction moment (KAM) is a surrogate measure for medial compartment knee loading and is related to the progression of knee osteoarthritis. Toe-in and toe-out gait modifications typically reduce the first and second KAM peaks, respectively. We investigated whether assigning a subject-specific foot progression angle (FPA) modification reduces the peak KAM by more than assigning the same modification to everyone. To explore the effects of motor learning on muscle coordination and kinetics, we also evaluated the peak knee flexion moment and quadriceps-hamstring co-contraction during normal walking, when subjects first learned their subject-specific FPA, and following 20 min of training. Using vibrotactile feedback, we trained 20 healthy adults to toe-in and toe-out by 5° and 10° relative to their natural FPA, then identified the subject-specific FPA as the angle where each subject maximally reduced their larger KAM peak. When walking at their subject-specific FPA, 18 subjects significantly reduced their larger KAM peak; 8 by toeing-in and 10 by toeing-out. On average, subjects reduced their larger KAM peak by 18.6 ± 16.2% when walking at their subject-specific FPA, which was more than the reductions achieved when all subjects toed-in by 10° (10.0 ± 17.1%, p = .013) or toed-out by 10° (11.0 ± 18.3%, p = .002). Quadriceps-hamstring co-contraction and the peak knee flexion moment increased when subjects first learned their subject-specific FPA, but only co-contraction returned to baseline levels following training. These findings demonstrate that subject-specific gait modifications reduce the peak KAM more than uniformly assigned modifications and have the potential to slow the progression of medial compartment knee osteoarthritis.

KEYWORDS:

Co-contraction; Gait retraining; Knee adduction moment; Knee osteoarthritis; Real-time biofeedback

PMID:
29174534
PMCID:
PMC5859947
[Available on 2019-01-03]
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.11.003

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