Effects of Contralateral Versus Ipsilateral Cane Use on Gait in People with Knee Osteoarthritis
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ObjectiveTo compare the immediate effects of contralateral versus ipsilateral cane use on spatiotemporal gait parameters and peak vertical ground force in overweight or obese adults with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA).
DesignProspective observational study.
SettingAn academic tertiary Veterans Affairs Healthcare Center.
ParticipantsThirty-eight overweight or obese subjects with symptomatic knee OA who had not used a cane for the past 30 days.
MethodsSpatiotemporal gait data were obtained with an optical motion capture system while subjects walked without a cane, with a cane contralateral to the more painful lower limb, or with a cane ipsilateral to the more painful lower limb at self-selected speeds. An in-shoe dynamic pressure distribution system was used to measure the vertical ground reaction force.
Main outcome measurementsSpatiotemporal measures of gait and peak vertical ground reaction force on both lower limbs were recorded for each walking condition: no cane, contralateral cane, and ipsilateral cane.
ResultsWalking with a cane either contralateral or ipsilateral to the more symptomatic limb led to significant reductions in gait velocity (14%-16%), cadence (12%-14%), and peak vertical ground reaction force (normalized for body weight; 11%-12%) on the more painful lower limb compared with walking unaided (P < .05). There were no significant differences in the peak vertical ground reaction force on either lower limbs when comparing walking with a cane contralateral to the more painful limb or walking with a cane ipsilateral to the more painful limb. Subjects also experienced a significant decrease in gait velocity with contralateral or ipsilateral cane use compared with walking without a cane; the lower walking speed was due to a decrease in cadence.
ConclusionsThese results support the prescription of a single-point cane to offload a lower limb with painful knee OA by holding the cane either ipsilateral or contralateral to the more painful lower limb.
author list (cited authors)
Fang, M. A., Heiney, C., Yentes, J. M., Harada, N. D., Masih, S., & Perell-Gerson, K. L.