An analysis of the mechanisms for reducing the knee adduction moment during walking using a variable stiffness shoe in subjects with knee osteoarthritis.J Biomech. 2011 Apr 29; 44(7):1271-6.JB
Variable stiffness shoes that have a stiffer lateral than medial sole may reduce the external knee adduction moment (EKAM) and pain during walking in patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, the mechanism by which EKAM may be reduced in the OA knee with this intervention remains unclear. Three hypotheses were tested in this study: (1) The reduction in EKAM during walking with the variable stiffness shoe is associated with a reduction in GRF magnitude and/or (2) frontal plane lever arm. (3) A reduction in frontal plane lever arm occurs either by moving the center of pressure laterally under the shoe and/or by dynamically reducing the medial component of GRF. Thirty-two subjects (20 male, 12 female; age: 58.7 ± 9.3 years; height: 1.62 ± 0.08 m; mass: 81.3 ± 14.6 kg) with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis were studied walking in a gait laboratory. The frontal plane lever arm was significantly reduced (1.62%, 0.07%ht, p=0.02) on the affected side while the magnitude of the GRF was not significantly changed. The reduction in the lever arm was weakly correlated with a medial shift in the COP. However, the combined medial shift in the COP and reduction in the medial GRF explained 50% of the change of the frontal plane lever arm. These results suggest that the medial shift in the COP at the foot produced by the intervention shoe stimulates an adaptive dynamic response during gait that reduces the frontal plane lever arm.