Background: Lateral wedge insoles (LWI) were proposed to treat medial knee osteoarthritis through reductions of the ambulatory knee adduction moment (KAM). Limited attention was however paid to the LWI length, resulting in unclear understanding of its effect on KAM reductions. The knee flexion moment (KFM) was also shown to be important in knee osteoarthritis, but little is known about the effect of LWI length on it.
Research question: This study aimed to compare the KAM and KFM of healthy subjects walking with four different lengths of LWI, explicitly without LWI and with LWI below the hindfoot (HF), below the hindfoot and forefoot (HF + FF) and below the hindfoot, forefoot and hallux (HF + FF + HX) segments.
Methods: Nineteen healthy participants (63% male; 24 ± 3 years old) walked in an instrumented gait lab with LWI of four different lengths. Repeated one-way ANOVAs and post-hoc t-tests were used to compare knee kinetics among LWI lengths.
Results: The peak value of the KAM during the first half of stance and the KAM impulse differed with respect to the LWI length (p < 0.001). A length of at least HF + FF, but not necessarily longer, was needed to decrease both KAM parameters compared to walking without LWI. The LWI length had no effect on the peak value of the KFM during the first half of stance (p = 0.86).
Significance: The results in this study could contribute to better selections of LWI for medial knee osteoarthritis and suggested that the length of the LWI could be a critical factor that should be considered in future research.
Keywords: Design; Footwear; Intervention; OA; Rehabilitation; Shoe.
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