Objective: To assess the biomechanic effects of wearing a lateral wedge on the knee joint varus moment during gait in elders with and without knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Design: Crossover design whereby subjects walked under 2 different insole conditions: a 0 degrees control wedge and a 6 degrees lateral wedge.
Setting: A gait laboratory with 3-dimensional motion analysis and force platform equipment.
Participants: Thirteen healthy subjects and 13 knee patients with OA.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Frontal plane angles and moments at the knee and subtalar joints, ground reaction forces, and center of pressure. Moments were derived by using a 3-dimensional inverse dynamics model of the lower extremity.
Results: The 6 degrees lateral wedge significantly reduced knee joint varus moment and increased subtalar joint valgus moment in both groups when compared with no wedge. All patients had a greater knee joint varus moment with a similar subtalar joint valgus moment compared with the people without OA. There were diverse, sometimes reversed effects with the insole among the patients.
Conclusions: The 6 degrees lateral wedge did not consistently reduce the knee joint varus moment in patients with knee OA. The biomechanic indications and limitations of laterally wedged insoles should be confirmed by a larger study.