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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7468937, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7468937
Research Article

Exercise Alters Gait Pattern but Not Knee Load in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei 111, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei 106, Taiwan
3National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan
4Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei 106, Taiwan
5Graduate Institute of Applied Science and Technology, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei 106, Taiwan

Received 12 February 2016; Revised 4 May 2016; Accepted 12 June 2016

Academic Editor: Emmanuel G. Ciolac

Copyright © 2016 Ssu-Yu Chang et al. 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

Six female patients with bilateral medial knee OA and 6 healthy controls were recruited. Patients with knee OA received a 6-week physiotherapist-supervised and home-based exercise program. Outcome measures, including the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index and Short Form-36 Health Survey as well as objective biomechanical indices were obtained at baseline and follow-up. After treatment, no significant difference was observed in the knee abductor moment (KAM), lever arm, and ground reaction force. We, however, observed significantly improved pain and physical function as well as altered gait patterns, including a higher hip flexor moment and hip extension angle with a faster walking speed. Although KAM was unchanged, patients with bilateral knee OA showed an improved walking speed and altered the gait pattern after 6 weeks of supervised exercise. This finding suggests that the exercise intervention improves proximal joint mechanics during walking and can be considered for patients with bilateral knee OA. Non-weight-bearing strengthening without external resistance combined with stretching exercise may be an option to improve pain and function in individuals with OA who cannot perform high resistance exercises owing to pain or other reasons.