The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 10, 2337 - 2341

The Effect of Hip Arthroplasty on Osteoarthritic Gait: A Blinded, Prospective and Controlled Gait Study at Fast Walking Speeds

Aqil, Adeel et al.


Painful unilateral cox arthrosis results in excessive forces passing through the “good leg.” The impact of hip arthroplasty on contralateral leg gait has not been fully explored. We measured patients gait before and after arthroplasty, to answer 3 questions: (1) Are peak forces for the good legs outside the normal range? (2) Does arthroplasty protect contralateral limbs by reducing peak forces? and (3) Does arthroplasty result in a more symmetric and normal gait at fast walking speeds?


This prospective, controlled study, assessed ground reaction forces before and 13 months (range, 6-21 months) after hip arthroplasty.


Peak ground reaction force in contralateral hips fell (1.45-1.38 times body weight, P = .04), whereas symmetry index maximum weight acceptance improved postoperatively (12.2 ± 11 vs 1.3 ± 6, P < .001).


Although gait becomes more symmetrical, patients still experience higher peak loads than matched controls. These high forces may offer an explanation to the progression of arthrosis in lower limbs.

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