The effect of shoe design and lateral wedging on knee loading

Carsten Mølgaard, Uwe G. Kersting

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The increasing number of patients with developing osteoarthritis is accompanied by a growing scientific interest in non-operative early treatment strategies. It is generally believed that laterally wedged insoles can change the distribution of the knee loading, but the importance of footwear design on the effect of lateral wedging has not been investigated so far. Thus the aim of present study is to explore the differences in knee loading with three different shoes when applying lateral foot wedges. Methods: Thirteen healthy participants with no history of knee pain were tested using three-dimensional gait analysis. Barefoot walking, walking in a running shoe, an Oxford-type leather shoe, and a rocker shoe were analyzed. The shoes were tested both with and without a 10-degree full length laterally wedged insole. Results: Similar, significant reductions in the peak knee adduction moment with lateral wedges were observed in all three types of shoes. However, differences between shoe design were of similar magnitude as the effect of laterally wedged insoles. Only marginal changes in muscle activity for lateral hamstrings during barefoot toe-out walking and gastrocnemius when using the Oxford wedged shoe were revealed. Conclusion: Lateral wedging is effective regardless of shoe design. Differences between the four neutral walking conditions underline the importance of footwear choice in individuals. It is safe to apply lateral wedges without jeopardizing muscular control during walking regardless of shoe condition. Possible effects of altering neuromuscular control by shoe condition needs further exploration in patient groups.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date3 Jul 2011
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Society of Biomechanics - Brussel
Duration: 3 Jul 20117 Jul 2011


ConferenceInternational Society of Biomechanics

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