BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2018 19:224

Different reliability of instrumented gait analysis between patients with unilateral hip osteoarthritis, unilateral hip prosthesis and healthy controls

Roland Zügner, Roy Tranberg, Vera Lisovskaja and Johan Kärrholm


The gait pattern varies within the population and between patient groups with different musculoskeletal diseases. It also varies over time due to various reasons. Three-dimensional gait analysis (3DGA) is frequently used to measure these changes, but the precision of this methodology may vary.


We primarily aimed to study the repeatability of hip motion measurements in patients with unilateral osteoarthritis (OA), patients with unilateral total hip arthroplasty (THA) and healthy controls. A secondary aim was to delineate any differences in hip motion during walking between these groups. Ten males and 10 females in each group were recruited. All patients underwent gait assessments using 3DGA recorded by 2 examiners. Data was analysed with comparison of variance and linear regression.


The variability of the extension-flexion recordings was smallest in healthy controls (SD < 7.7°), increased in patients with THA (SD < 11.1°) and was most pronounced in the OA patients (SD < 12.2°). The degree of hip extension-flexion turned out to be the variable that most effectively could separate the controls from the 2 patient groups and the patient groups from each other. One to 2 years after THA the gait pattern was improved but still differed comparing a group of THA from a group of healthy controls.


Patients with hip osteoarthritis showed the poorest repeatability between gait recordings collected by different examiners, as compared to patients operated with a THA and healthy controls. The walking pattern after THA still differed from healthy controls 1–2 years after the operation.

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