BACKGROUND: Gait biomechanics, sex, and obesity can contribute to suboptimal outcomes from primary total knee arthroplasty. The aims of this study were to i) determine if sex and/or obesity influence the amount of change in gait biomechanics from pre-surgery to six months post-surgery and; ii) assess if gait returns to normal in men and women.
METHODS: Three-dimensional gait analysis was performed on 43 patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty for knee osteoarthritis (pre- and six months post-operative) and 40 asymptomatic controls. Mixed linear regression models were fit to assess which factors influenced change in gait biomechanics within the arthroplasty cohort, and interaction terms were included to assess if biomechanics returned to normal following surgery.
FINDINGS: Male peak knee adduction moment (p < 0.001) and impulse (p < 0.001) decreased six months following arthroplasty, whilst gait in women remained unchanged after surgery. Obesity did not influence gait changes in men or women. Gait of female arthroplasty participants did not differ from female controls after surgery except for sagittal plane knee range of motion (p = 0.003), whilst men differed from controls for peak knee adduction moment (p = 0.011), knee range of motion (p < 0.001), and peak knee flexion moment (p < 0.001).
INTERPRETATION: Sex, but not obesity, influenced changes in gait biomechanics after arthroplasty. Men retained abnormal gait patterns after surgery, whilst women did not. Further research should determine the long-term implications of gait abnormalities seen in men after arthroplasty.
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Motion analysis
- Total knee arthroplasty
- Varus thrust