The effect of footwear on preoperative gait mechanics in a group of total ankle replacement patients.
Debate exists within the current clinical literature as to whether patients should be tested barefoot or in shoes either before or following surgical interventions. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of shod versus barefoot walking on spatiotemporal gait parameters before total ankle arthroplasty (TAA). Twenty patients who were scheduled for TAA were asked to walk four trials in shoes and four barefoot trials over a GaitRite mat while spatiotemporal variables were recorded. A series of repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to determine significant differences (alpha = 0.05). Step length, stride length, double support time, and walking velocity were significantly increased in the shod condition. However, step width, swing time, and support time were significantly decreased in the shod condition. The results of this study indicate the importance of testing clinical populations barefoot in order to more accurately assess gait pathology.
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