The effect of shoe-worn insoles on biomechanical variables in people with medial knee osteoarthritis has been studied extensively. The majority of research has focused specifically on the effect of lateral wedge insoles at the knee. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarise the known effects of different shoe-worn insoles on all biomechanical variables during level walking in this patient population to date.
Four electronic databases were searched to identify studies containing biomechanical data using shoe-worn insole devices in the knee osteoarthritis population. Methodological quality was assessed and a random effects meta-analysis was performed on biomechanical variables reported in three or more studies for each insole. Twenty-seven studies of moderate-to-high methodological quality were included in this review. The primary findings were consistent reductions in the knee adduction moment with lateral wedge insoles, although increases in ankle eversion with these insoles were also found.
Lateral wedge insoles produce small reductions in knee adduction angles and external moments, and moderate increases in ankle eversion. The addition of an arch support to a lateral wedge minimises ankle eversion change, and also minimises adduction moment reductions. The paucity of available data on other insole types and other biomechanical outcomes presents an opportunity for future research.