Gait characteristics in persons with hip osteoarthritis
The following longitudinal study compared found that gait characteristics, function and symptoms did not decline amongst individuals who did not undergo a total hip replacement (THR) compared to those who did, at a 6-7 year follow-up. These findings suggest the importance of considering a combination of gait analysis and joint space assessment during early stages of hip osteoarthritis (OA) is crucial in identifying those with potentially slow disease progression.
Despite the prevalence of hip OA, the natural history of symptoms, function and gait changes – including potential differences at an early stage, is unknown. The following study compared gait characteristics between individuals with early stage hip OA who later underwent THR to those who did not. Furthermore, the authors evaluated any declines in function, symptoms or gait patterns 6-7 years later amongst those who did not undergo THR.
Out of the 43 individual participants, 12 did not undergo a THR (27.9%). At baseline, this group exhibited larger hip and knee excursions in the sagittal plane, larger joint space width, lower body mass index, and greater self-reported function. The former three of these parameters remained unchanged at the 6-7 year follow-up. Interestingly, their self-reported pain had significantly reduced.
These findings are suggestive of a phenotype of hip OA with a very slow disease progression, particularly in regards to pain.
> From: Eitzen et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Click here for the Pubmed summary.