Gait retraining using real-time feedback in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis: Feasibility and effects of a six-week gait training program

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Background: The knee adduction moment (KAM) is often elevated in medial knee osteoarthritis (KOA). The aim of this study was to evaluate effects on KAM and patient-reported outcomes of a six-week gait training program. Methods: Twenty-one patients (61 ± 6 years) with KOA participated in a six-week biofeedback training program to encourage increased toe-in (all patients) and increased step-width (five patients). Patients received real-time visual feedback while walking on an instrumented treadmill. We analysed the effect of the gait modification(s) on peak KAM in week six and three and six months post-training. We also evaluated the effect on pain and functional ability. Results: Of 21 patients starting the program, 16 completed it with high attendance (15 and 16 respectively) at the three and six month follow-ups. First peak KAM was significantly reduced by up to 14.0% in week six with non-significant reductions of 8.2% and 5.5% at the follow-ups. Functional ability (assessed using the WOMAC questionnaire) improved significantly after the training (eight point reduction, p = 0.04 in week six and nine point reduction, p = 0.04 at six-month follow-up). There was also a trend towards reduction in WOMAC pain (p = 0.06) at follow-up. Conclusions: Biofeedback training to encourage gait modifications is feasible and leads to short-term benefits. However, at follow-up, reductions in KAM were less pronounced in some participants suggesting that to influence progression of KOA in the longer term, a permanent regime to reinforce the effects of the training program is needed. Trial number: ISRCTN14687588.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-824
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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