Effect of obesity on knee joint biomechanics during gait in young adults
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While there are many comorbidities associated with obesity, one of the more poorly understood is knee osteoarthritis through obesity. The purpose of this study was to compare the kinematics and kinetics of gait and cumulative knee adductor load, which represents the sum of repetitive exposures to medial knee loading during daily activity, between young obese adults with young, healthy-weight adults. Eight obese and eight healthy-weight young adults participated. Data from a three-dimensional motion capture system and a synchronized floor-mounted force plate were collected during gait trials. Participants wore accelerometers to determine step counts for seven consecutive days. Dependent t-tests were used to identify differences in gait kinematics, kinetics and cumulative knee adductor load between groups. Compared to the healthy-weight participants, obese young adults demonstrated a slower walking speed, greater stance duration, less knee flexion at heel contact, greater knee adduction in early stance and less knee abduction at terminal stance (p < 0.05). The obese young adults had a greater external knee extension moment (p < 0.05) and external rotation moment (p < 0.05) in early stance. The obese group had a greater cumulative knee adductor load. These results provide insight into a potential pathway by which obesity predisposes a healthy young adult for knee osteoarthritis.
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Kathleen F.E. MacLean, Jack P. Callaghan, Monica R. Maly (2016). Effect of obesity on knee joint biomechanics during gait in young adults. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11556
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