Effect of Knee Joint Exposure on the Variability of Gait Parameters in the Early Postoperative Period

Ákos Pethes and Rita M. Kiss


gait, ultrasound-based measuring system, variability of gait, total knee arthroplasty


Osteoarthritis of the knee joint and total kneed arthroplasty (TKA) change gait parameters and their variability significantly. This study aims to determine how the variability of parameters of stepping is influenced 1) by osteoarthritis and 2) by the type of operation technique (traditional and minimal invasive exposure) in the early postoperative period. The variability of different kinematical parameters was measured at 10 patients undergoing knee arthroplasty with a minimal invasive and 10 with a traditional operation technique preoperatively and at 6 and 12 weeks postoperatively, as well as at 10 healthy age-matched control subjects. The decreased variability of angular parameters on the affected side of patients prior to TKA represented a decreased flexibility of joint. This led to an increased variability of cadence, which represents a decreased consistency in the movements of the lower limbs from step to step, and a decreased complexity of movement. During the postoperative period the values of variability of motion approached, but did not return to the values of the healthy group. As regards the minimal invasive group, improvement is quicker. The increased flexibility of the non-affected knee joint, the pelvis and the shoulder produce compensatory patterns to ensure stability in stepping prior to and after TKA.

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