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Changes in gait parameters in total hip arthroplasty patients before and after surgery

Benedykt Cichy, Magdalena Wilk, Zbigniew Sliwinski

Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(3): CR159-169

ID: 836582

Background: The ideal outcome in total hip arthroplasty (THA) with endoprosthesis is the elimination of pain and the recovery of a normal range of movement in the affected hip joint, which is essential in order to improve the gait and restore the quality of life. In rehabilitation programs aimed at teaching patients to walk after THA, it is of particular importance to restore proper gait rhythm, speed, and fluidity of motion.
Material and Method: We examined 30 patients with degenerative changes of the hip joint (11 men, 19 women), who had been referred for THA in the period 2002--2004 due to unilateral degeneration of the hip joint. Pedobarography was used to record the distribution of force on the foot in each patient just before and again one month after surgery, along with clinical tests to measure the range of motion (ROM) for both lower extremities. The body mass index (BMI) was also measured.
Results: Static measurements showed that before surgery there was no statistically significant asymmetry between the affected and healthy lower limbs in respect to maximum foot-ground pressure. One month after surgery, however, we found some asymmetry, caused by reduced load on the operated limb. After THA there was a slight increase in step length in both limbs, but asymmetry in step length persisted.
Conclusions: One month after THA with endoprosthesis we observed slight improvement in step length and increased asymmetry in load-bearing in the affected limbs.

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