Gender and limb differences in temporal gait parameters and gait variability in ankle osteoarthritis.
BACKGROUND: The effects of ankle osteoarthritis on gait are noticeable in the clinic, but are difficult to quantify and score without detailed kinematic and kinetic analysis. Evaluationof temporal gait parameters and gait variability is a potential alternative. RESEARCH QUESTION: This study aimed to determine associations between limb and gender with temporal gait parameters and gait variability in ankle OA patients to evaluate the utility of these parameters for gait assessment in a clinical setting. METHODS: Following informed consent, 242 end-stage unilateral ankle OA patients walked at self-selected speed across force plates. Means and stride-to-stride standard deviations (SD) of stride, swing, stance, and double support times were determined for each patient. Limb x Gender ANCOVA models co-varying for walking speed were run for swing and stance times, while stride and double support times were only compared between genders. Statistical analysis was performed in SPSS (α = 0.05). RESULTS: Walking speed affected all measures of interest. After adjusting for walking speed, mean stride time, stride time SD, and stance time SD were 3.5%, 67% and 29% higher among women than men (p = 0.002, 0.035 and 0.02 respectively). Swing time was 12% higher and stance time was 6% lower on the affected side compared to the unaffected side (p < 0.001 for both). SIGNIFICANCE: Women have longer stride times and higher variability, which may indicate higher fall risk. Both genders minimized loading on the affected limb by increasing swing time and reducing stance time on the affected side. Simple, easy to record temporal gait patterns can provide useful insight into gait abnormalities in patients with ankle OA.
Hughes-Oliver, CN; Srinivasan, D; Schmitt, D; Queen, RM
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