Lateral foot wedges can help patients with medial knee osteoarthritis develop and maintain gait improvement. That is the conclusion of doctors at the University of Dayton’s Department of Health and Sports Science, after a small one-year study.
Doctors evaluated participants in two groups of 19. The control group was prescribed neutral orthoses; the intervention group wore wedges developed based upon their responses to step-down tests. Walking speed and shoes were controlled in both groups.
The authors used three-dimensional gait data to analyze variances—including interactions, main, and simple effects—first at baseline and then after 12 months.
At the one-year checkup, the control group showed no changes. By contrast, the group wearing prescribed wedges showed sustained improvements in both knee adduction moments and frontal plane motion.