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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2015

Gait assessment as a functional outcome measure in total knee arthroplasty: a cross-sectional study

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2015
Jeeshan Rahman, Quen Tang, Maureen Monda, Jonathan Miles, Ian McCarthy
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

JR recruited and performed measurements on the subjects, contributed to the design of the study, and drafted the manuscript; MM recruited and performed measurements of the subjects, contributed to data analysis and helped draft the manuscript; QT recruited and performed measurements of the subjects, and helped draft the manuscript; JM conceived the study, participated in its design, and helped draft the manuscript; IM conceived the study, participated in the design, contributed to data and statistical analysis, and helped draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



The aim of the study was to assess gait in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) patients, using a technique that can to be used on a routine basis in a busy orthopaedic clinic.


A total of 103 subjects were recruited: 29 pre-op TKA patients; 17 TKA patients at 8 weeks post-op; 28 TKA patients at 52 weeks post-op; and 29 age-matched controls. Inertial measurement units (IMUs) were used to assess gait. Limb segment angles, knee angle and temporal parameters of gait were calculated. Specific gait parameters were quantified, and data analysed using MANOVA and discriminant analysis.


The gait of TKA patients as a group was only slightly improved at 12 months when compared with the pre-operative group, and both groups were significantly different to controls in several variables. Knee flexion range in stance was the most important variable in discriminating between patients and controls; knee flexion range in swing was the only variable that showed a significant difference between pre- and post-operative patients. When considered individually, only 1/29 patient was within the normal range for this variable pre-operatively, but 9/28 patients were within the normal range 12 months post-operatively.


Even after 12 months after surgery, many TKA patients have not improved their gait relative to pre-operative patients. Routine gait assessment may be used to guide post-operative rehabilitation, and to develop strategies to improve mobility of these patients.
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