Human Gait and Postural Control after Unilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty
Introduction: This study assesses the changes in human gait in the early postoperative phase of unilateral TKA, by evaluating the variability of free moment.
Materials and method: The study group consisted of 10 patients from the Orthopedic Department of the ‘Elias’ University Hospital in Bucharest who undergone unilateral knee arthroplasty with the same type of posterior cruciate ligament substituting prosthesis. For the evaluation of free moment an AMTI AccuGait force platform was used.
Results: Regarding the free moment peaks, for the operated and non-operated limb, increased significantly (p <0.05) in the postoperative period. The stance time was higher post-surgery for both limbs.
Discussion: In the early postoperative phase of unilateral TKA, free moment is higher on both the operated and the non-operated limbs, which means that the knees are subjected to higher torques. Shortly after TKA, patients tend to walk with lower speed, with small steps and reduced cadence. Stance time differences between the operated and the non-operated limbs can lead to overuse of the latter, worsening its condition.
Conclusions: It is highly important to adopt a well-managed rehabilitation program in order to increase walking stability. The cost effectiveness of this procedure could be highly dependent on the rehab program. The parameters studied in this article are useful in assessing the rehabilitation protocol.