A longitudinal study of impact and early stance loads during gait following arthroscopic partial meniscectomy

Michelle L Hall, Tim V Wrigley, Ben R Metcalf, Rana S Hinman, Alasdair R Dempsey, Peter M Mills, Flavia Maria Cicuttini, David Lloyd, Kim L Bennell

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People following arthroscopic partial medial meniscectomy (APM) are at increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. High impact loading and peak loading early in the stance phase of gait may play a role in the pathogenesis of knee osteoarthritis. This was a secondary analysis of longitudinal data to investigate loading-related indices at baseline in an APM group (3 months post-surgery) and a healthy control group, and again 2 years later (follow-up). At baseline, 82 participants with medial APM and 38 healthy controls were assessed, with 66 and 23 re-assessed at follow-up, respectively. Outcome measures included: (i) heel strike transient (HST) presence and magnitude, (ii) maximum loading rate, (iii) peak vertical force (Fz ) during early stance. At baseline, maximum loading rate was lower in the operated leg (APM) and non-operated leg (non-APM leg) compared to controls (p=0.03) and peak Fz was lower in the APM leg compared to non-APM leg (p=0.01). Over 2 years, peak Fz increased in the APM leg compared to the non-APM leg and controls (p=0.01). Following recent APM, people may adapt their gait to protect the operated knee from excessive loads, as evidenced by a lower maximum loading rate in the APM leg compared to controls, and a reduced peak Fz in the APM leg compared to the non-APM leg. No differences at follow-up may suggest an eventual return to more typical gait. However, the increase in peak Fz in the APM leg may be of concern for long-term joint health given the compromised function of the meniscus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2852 - 2857
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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