Effects of foot orthoses and valgus bracing on the knee adduction moment and medial joint load during gait.Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2008 Jul; 23(6):814-21.CB
Lateral shoe wedges and valgus knee braces are designed to decrease the force acting in the medial knee compartment by reducing the external adduction moment applied at the knee. The biomechanical changes introduced by these orthoses can be relatively small. Computer modeling and simulation offers an alternative approach for assessing the biomechanical performance of these devices.
A three-dimensional model of the lower-limb was used to calculate muscle, ligament, and joint loading at the knee during gait. A lateral shoe wedge was simulated by moving the center of pressure of the ground reaction force up to 5mm laterally. A valgus knee brace was simulated by applying abduction moments of up to 12 Nm at the knee.
Knee adduction moment and medial compartment load decreased linearly with lateral displacement of the center of pressure of the ground reaction force. A 1 mm displacement of the center of pressure decreased the peak knee adduction moment by 2%, while the peak medial compartment load was reduced by 1%. Knee adduction moment and medial compartment force also decreased linearly with valgus moments applied about the knee. A 1 Nm increase in brace moment decreased the peak knee adduction moment by 3%, while the peak medial compartment load was reduced by 1%.
Changes in knee joint loading due to lateral shoe wedges and valgus bracing are small and may be difficult to measure by conventional gait analysis methods. The relationships between lateral shift in the center of pressure of the ground force, valgus brace moment, knee adduction moment, and medial joint load can be quantified and explained using computer modeling and simulation. These relationships may serve as a useful guide for evaluating the biomechanical efficacy of a generic wedge insole or knee brace.