Mobility shoes reduced knee loading in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Patients with knee osteoarthritis who wear flat, flexible footwear, or mobility shoes, had significant reduction in knee loading even after the shoes were no longer worn, according to recently published study results.

Researchers obtained the baseline gait of 16 participants with knee osteoarthritis (OA) walking in their own shoes, mobility shoes and barefoot. Mobility shoes were worn for 6 hours each day for 6 days per week and researchers evaluated patient gait at 6, 12 and 24 weeks in all conditions.

By 24 weeks, participants wearing mobility footwear had an 18% reduction in knee adduction moment (KAM). No significant difference in KAM was found between walking with mobility shoes and barefoot at 24 weeks, according to study results. Over 6 months follow-up, participants showed an 11% reduction in KAM when walking in their own shoes and a 10% reduction in patients walking barefoot, compared with baseline. Researchers wrote that mobility footwear “may serve as a biomechanical training device to achieve beneficial alterations in gait mechanics for knee OA.”

“There is much interest in biomechanical interventions, such as orthotic inserts, knee braces and footwear that aim to improve pain and delay OA progression by decreasing impact on joints,” Najia Shakoor, MD, associated professor in the department of internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center, stated in a press release. “Our investigation provides evidence that footwear choice may be an important consideration in managing knee OA.”

For more information:

Shakoor N. Arthritis Rheum.2013;65:1282-1289.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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