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The biomechanical fingerprint of hip and knee osteoarthritis patients during activities of daily living

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent disease affecting the hip and knee joint and is characterized by load-mediated pain and decreased quality of life. Dependent on involved joint, patients present antalgic movement compensations, aiming to decrease loading on the involved joint. However, the associated alterations in mechanical loading of the ipsi- and contra-lateral lower limb joints, are less documented. Here, we documented the biomechanical fingerprint of end-stage hip and knee osteoarthritis patients in terms of ipsilateral and contralateral hip and knee loading during walking and stair ambulation. METHODS: Three-dimensional motion-analysis was performed in 20 hip, 18 knee osteoarthritis patients and 12 controls during level walking and stair ambulation. Joint contact forces were calculated using a standard musculoskeletal modelling workflow in Opensim. Involved and contralateral hip and knee joint loading was compared against healthy controls using independent t-tests (p < 0.05). FINDINGS: Both hip and knee cohorts significantly decreased loading of the involved joint during gait and stair ambulation. Hip osteoarthritis patients presented no signs of ipsilateral knee nor contralateral leg overloading, during walking and stair ascending. However, knee osteoarthritis patients significantly increased loading at the ipsilateral hip, and contralateral hip and knee joints during stair ambulation compared to controls. INTERPRETATION: The biomechanical fingerprint in knee and hip osteoarthritis patients confirmed antalgic movement strategies to unload the involved leg during gait. Only during stair ambulation in knee osteoarthritis patients, movement adaptations were confirmed that induced unbalanced intra- and inter-limb loading conditions, which are known risk factors for secondary osteoarthritis.
Journal: Clinical Biomechanics
ISSN: 0268-0033
Volume: 101
Publication year:2023