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Arthritis
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 240376, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/240376
Clinical Study

The Effect of Hip Bracing on Gait in Patients with Medial Knee Osteoarthritis

Department of Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT 06518, USA

Received 15 February 2012; Accepted 19 April 2012

Academic Editor: Changhai Ding

Copyright © 2012 David Wallace and Christa Barr. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. Impaired hip motion has been associated with heightened medial knee joint loading in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). A hip external rotation strap designed to pull the femur into external rotation and abduction may serve as one protective mechanism. The primary aim of our study is to determine if the strap decreases medial knee joint loading during level walking in people with knee OA. Design. This study is a single-day repeated measures design. Methods. 15 volunteers with medial knee OA underwent motion analysis data collection during two randomly assigned walking conditions: (1) wearing the strap and (2) control (no strap). Primary outcome measures were peak pelvis, hip and knee joint motions, and torques. These outcomes were averaged across five trials for each condition. Results. Hip abduction ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 1 ), trunk lean towards the stance limb ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4 ) and pelvic tilt ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 2 ) significantly increased with the strap versus control trials. Knee adduction loading did not significantly change with the strap ( 𝑃 = 0 . 3 3 ). Conclusion. The use of the hip external rotation strap resulted in angular changes at the hip and pelvis which may be beneficial for patients with medial knee osteoarthritis.