Influence of altered gait patterns on the hip joint contact forces.
Carriero A., Zavatsky A., Stebbins J., Theologis T., Lenaerts G., Jonkers I., Shefelbine SJ.
Children who exhibit gait deviations often present a range of bone deformities, particularly at the proximal femur. Altered gait may affect bone growth and lead to deformities by exerting abnormal stresses on the developing bones. The objective of this study was to calculate variations in the hip joint contact forces with different gait patterns. Muscle and hip joint contact forces of four children with different walking characteristics were calculated using an inverse dynamic analysis and a static optimisation algorithm. Kinematic and kinetic analyses were based on a generic musculoskeletal model scaled down to accommodate the dimensions of each child. Results showed that for all the children with altered gaits both the orientation and magnitude of the hip joint contact force deviated from normal. The child with the most severe gait deviations had hip joint contact forces 30% greater than normal, most likely due to the increase in muscle forces required to sustain his crouched stance. Determining how altered gait affects joint loading may help in planning treatment strategies to preserve correct loading on the bone from a young age.