Effects of orthopedic insoles on patients with knee osteoarthritis: A meta-analysis and systematic review

J Rehabil Med. 2021 May 18;53(5):jrm00191. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2836.


Objective: Recent clinical evidence supports that orthopaedic insoles, especially lateral-wedge insoles, can significantly benefit patients with knee osteoarthritis. The aim of this study is to explore the effects of orthopaedic insoles in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Methods: Randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of orthopaedic insoles on patients with knee osteoarthritis, published up to 16 February 2021, were reviewed and outcomes quantitatively summarized.

Results: A total of 15 studies from 13 randomized controlled trials that involved 1,086 participants were included in this study. All the included studies exhibited a moderate bias risk and were of acceptable quality. The pooled mean difference of pain determined by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) was -1.21 (p < 0.001, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) -2.61-0.18) with a high heterogeneity (I2 = 75%). In the sensitivity analysis, the overall incidence was -0.20 (p= 0.62, 95% CI= -0.87-0.46) with an accepted heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). No difference was observed between the Asian and Caucasian groups (p= 0.28). No significant difference was found in the pain score, Lequesne index or functional improvements.

Conclusion: Meta-analysis revealed that orthopaedic insoles do not provide relief of pain or improve functionality in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Keywords: knee; knee joint; meta-analysis; osteoarthritis; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Orthopedics / methods*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Shoes / standards*