Coronal plane ankle alignment, gait, and end-stage ankle osteoarthritis.
OBJECTIVE: Unilateral ankle osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating condition which may lead to limb deformity, severe pain, and functional disability due to tibiotalar malalignment and gait dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to determine if coronal plane alignment (varus, valgus, or neutral) of the ankle resulted in different spatial-temporal gait mechanics, clinically-assessed function, and self-reported function in patients with end-stage ankle OA. METHODS: Following informed consent, 96 patients with end-stage unilateral ankle OA were radiographically categorized as having varus, valgus, or neutral tibiotalar alignment. Each subject completed the foot and ankle disability index (FADI) questionnaire to assess self-reported function. The spatial-temporal parameters of interest (stance time, step length, stride length, stride width, single-support time, double support time, and walking speed) were assessed while the subject walked at a self-selected speed. RESULTS: The varus group performed the timed up and go test significantly faster than the other groups (P=0.05). All other variables were similar between the three alignment groups. CONCLUSION: There was little difference in gait mechanics and function between patients with end-stage OA based on coronal plane ankle alignment suggesting that factors other than coronal plane alignment contribute to diminished function.
Queen, RM; Carter, JE; Adams, SB; Easley, ME; DeOrio, JK; Nunley, JA
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