Reducing joint loading in medial knee osteoarthritis: Shoes and canes

This study evaluated the effects of shoes and a cane on knee load in people with knee OA.   Forty people with medial knee OA underwent 3-dimensional gait analysis to measure their peak knee adduction moment, an indicator of medial knee joint load. Results when walking in bare feet were compared with those obtained when walking in their own usual shoes. Twenty participants also underwent testing using a cane, and results were compared with walking unaided.  Compared with barefoot, walking in shoes was associated with a significant increase in the peak knee adduction moment and the use of a cane resulted in a 10% decrease in the knee adduction moment.

Wearing shoes increases medial knee joint load compared with walking barefoot and the use of a cane significantly reduces medial knee loading and has the potential to reduce the risk of disease progression in knee OA.

Arthritis Care & Research, 2008, 59(5), 609-14
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