Background: Previous studies report that gait parameters of patients following total hip replacement improve from pre-operative levels, although in most cases do not reach those of normal subjects. However, studies are generally of unilateral total hip replacement patients at short-term follow-up. There have been no reports of 3D gait kinematics and kinetics in patients with bilateral total hip replacements at long-term follow-up. The aim of this study was to compare temporospatial parameters and 3D lower limb gait kinematics and kinetics at long-term follow-up between limbs and against controls for patients who have undergone staged bilateral total hip replacement.
Methods: 3D gait analysis was performed on 13 patients who had undergone bilateral total hip replacement, at an average follow-up of 10.1 (first hip) and 9.3 years (second hip), and a normal elderly control group comprising 10 subjects.
Findings: Knee flexion/extension range of motion was marginally greater in Hip 2 (p = 0.049) compared to Hip 1 by 3.2°. There were no other significant differences in temporospatial parameters or a range of lower limb kinematics or kinetics between the first and second operated hip. Multiple gait parameters were significantly worse for both hips compared to age-matched normal individuals.
Interpretation: Although symmetrical biomechanical recovery was achieved, significant gait deficiencies remain in both hips compared to normal controls. These deficits may provide targets for enhanced rehabilitation programs.
Keywords: Bilateral; Gait analysis; Hip replacement; Long-term follow-up.
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