Gait analysis methods for rodent models of osteoarthritis

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2014 Oct;18(10):456. doi: 10.1007/s11916-014-0456-x.


Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) primarily seek treatment due to pain and disability, yet the primary endpoints for rodent OA models tend to be histological measures of joint destruction. The discrepancy between clinical and preclinical evaluations is problematic, given that radiographic evidence of OA in humans does not always correlate to the severity of patient-reported symptoms. Recent advances in behavioral analyses have provided new methods to evaluate disease sequelae in rodents. Of particular relevance to rodent OA models are methods to assess rodent gait. While obvious differences exist between quadrupedal and bipedal gait sequences, the gait abnormalities seen in humans and in rodent OA models reflect similar compensatory behaviors that protect an injured limb from loading. The purpose of this review is to describe these compensations and current methods used to assess rodent gait characteristics, while detailing important considerations for the selection of gait analysis methods in rodent OA models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / complications*
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / complications*
  • Rodentia