The peak external knee adduction moment (pKAM), KAM impulse, and peak knee flexion moment (pKFM) during gait are important loading variables in medial tibiofemoral osteoarthritis. We evaluated the effects of gait modification, using real-time pKAM visual feedback, on pKAM, KAM impulse, and pKFM; and whether participants could maintain the KAM-reducing gait after feedback removal. Eleven healthy individuals performed a series of walking trials on a split-belt instrumented treadmill under four conditions of Baseline, Feedback, No Feedback Early, and No Feedback Late. Guided by real-time feedback of pKAM, they modified their gait patterns to lower pKAM by 20%. Three-dimensional joint kinematics/kinetics during each walking condition were recorded by a 12-camera motion capture system and the instrumented treadmill. Change in each knee loading parameter from baseline across conditions was assessed using one-way repeated-measures analysis-of-variances. In the feedback limb, successful 20% reductions from baseline in pKAM and KAM impulse were achieved across all three conditions. There was a trend for concomitant pKFM increases, partially attenuating the beneficial effects of pKAM reduction. A carry-over effect of KAM reduction in the non-feedback limb was noted. The altered gait patterns were participant-specific and multi-modal; each participant reported a combination of two to three gait modification strategies used for pKAM reduction. Toe-in and medial foot contact were the most reported strategies. The findings support the real-time pKAM visual feedback as a tool for individualized gait modification to reduce knee load. Future studies to evaluate its effectiveness in persons with or at risk for medial knee osteoarthritis is warranted.
- knee adduction moment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine