Improvement in function after valgus bracing of the knee. An analysis of gait symmetry

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2000 Sep;82(7):1001-5. doi: 10.1302/0301-620x.82b7.10638.


The use of a valgus brace can effectively relieve the symptoms of unicompartmental osteoarthritis of the knee. This study provides an objective measurement of function by analysis of gait symmetry. This was measured in 30 patients on four separate occasions: immediately before and after initial fitting and then again at three months with the brace on and off. All patients reported immediate symptomatic improvement with less pain on walking. After fitting the brace, symmetry indices of stance and the swing phase of gait showed a consistent and immediate improvement at 0 and 3 months, respectively, of 3.92% (p = 0.030) and 3.40% (p = 0.025) in the stance phase and 11.78% (p = 0.020) and 9.58% (p = 0.005) in the swing phase. This was confirmed by a significant improvement at three months in the mean Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) knee score from 69.9 to 82.0 (p < 0.001). Thus, wearing a valgus brace gives a significant and immediate improvement in the function of patients with unicompartmental osteoarthritis of the knee, as measured by analysis of gait symmetry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Braces*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired / physiopathology
  • Joint Deformities, Acquired / therapy*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology