© 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:2167–2177, 2018.

Abnormal loading of the hip and knee joints in unilateral hip osteoarthritis persists two years after total hip replacement

Felix Stief André Schmidt Stefan van Drongelen Katharina Lenarz Dara Froemel Timur Tarhan Frederick Lutz Andrea Meurer

A total hip replacement (THR) is a common and routine procedure to reduce pain and restore normal activity. Gait analysis can provide insights into functional characteristics and dynamic joint loading situation not identifiable by clinical examination or static radiographic measures. The present prospective longitudinal study tested whether 2 years after surgery a THR would restore dynamic loading of the knee and hip joints in the frontal plane to normal. Instrumented gait analysis was performed shortly before surgery and approximately 2 years after THR on 15 unilateral hip osteoarthritis (OA) patients. 15 asymptomatic matched individuals were recruited as healthy controls. Results showed that abnormal joint loading persisted 2 years after THR. The 2nd external knee adduction moment in terminal stance in the affected (−34%, p = 0.002, d = 1.22) and non‐affected limb (−25%, p = 0.035, d = 0.81) was lower compared to controls and thus indicated a shift in the knee joint load distribution from medial to lateral. A correlation analysis revealed that a smaller hip range of motion explained 46% of 2nd knee adduction moment alterations. In contrast, the 2nd external hip adduction moment in terminal stance was postoperatively higher in the affected (+22%, p = 0.007, d = 1.04) and non‐affected limb (+22%, p = 0.005, d = 1.05). Here, 51% of 2nd hip adduction moment alterations can be explained with a greater hip adduction angle. Patients with a THR may therefore be at higher risk for abnormal joint loading and thus for the development of OA in other joints of the lower extremities.

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