October 2017

Pathomechanics in patients with hip OA suggest need for gait retraining

In the moment: Rehabilitation

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Altered hip mechanics during gait in patients with hip osteo­arthritis (OA) suggest a role for rehabilitation interventions focused on more than hip abductor strengthening alone, accord­ing to research from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Investigators analyzed the walking gait of 20 patients with hip OA and 17 healthy volunteers matched for age and body mass index. Compared with the controls, the hip OA patients had less hip adduction range of motion, smaller hip abduction and external rotation moments, decreased hip joint contact forces, and less work generated by the hip abductors during stance.

The findings, epublished in September by Gait & Posture, suggest patients with hip OA develop gait alterations over time to improve mediolateral stability and decrease demand on the hip abductors. These compensations suggest rehabilitation focused solely on hip strengthening may not be sufficient to normalize muscle function and gait in patients with hip OA; gait retraining may also be warranted, the authors wrote.


Meyer CA, Wesseling M, Corten K, et al. Hip movement pathomechanics of patients with hip osteoarthritis aim at reducing hip joint loading on the osteoarthritic side. Gait Posture 2017 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print]

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