Variations in gait patterns and recovery of function following arthroscopic partial meniscectomy

Daina Sturnieks

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] Previous research has found that full recovery of knee function following arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) is often not achieved, and in the long-term, over 50% of these patients will develop knee osteoarthritis (OA). Mechanical factors are believed to contribute largely to the development of knee OA. High frequency loading has been shown to lead to degenerative joint changes in animal models. In human gait, the knee adduction moment during stance phase, which tends to load the medial articular surface of the tibiofemoral joint, has been associated with the presence, severity and progression of knee OA. Quadriceps weakness, which is common in people with knee pathology, has been associated with abnormal sagittal plane knee moments during gait, yet no studies have investigated the effect of knee strength on frontal plane kinetics. This work aimed to investigate gait mechanics in a post-APM population, determine the influence of neuromuscular factors on gait, and assess recovery of function over 12 months while examining factors associated with recovery. One hundred and six APM subjects were examined between one and three months postsurgery. Data were compared to an age-matched control group of 49 healthy adults. Subjects were aged 20 to 50 years and had been screened for: clinical and radiographic evidence of knee OA; previous or current knee joint disease or injury (other than the current meniscus pathology); or any other previous or existing disease or injury that may have an effect on gait, or predispose to joint disease. Three-dimensional gait analysis was performed at a freely-chosen walking velocity, using a 50 Hz VICON three-dimensional motion analysis system, instrumented with two force platforms and 10-channel electromyography system. Subjects also underwent knee strength testing on a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer. Information was collected regarding subject’s physical activity levels, general health and knee function, as well as patient’s surgery specifics and rehabilitation regime.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2004

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