J Orthop Res. 2022 Jul 26. doi: 10.1002/jor.25421. Online ahead of print.
Inertial measurement units (IMUs) are commonly used for gait assessment, yet their potential for quantifying improvements in gait function and patterns after total hip arthroplasty (THA) has not been fully explored. The primary aim of this study was to compare spatiotemporal parameters and sagittal plane kinematic patterns of patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) before and after THA, and to asymptomatic controls. The secondary aim was to assess the association between dynamic hip range of motion (ROM) during walking and the Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores (HOOS). Twenty-four patients with hip OA and 24 matched asymptomatic controls completed gait analyses using the RehaGait® sensor system. Patients were evaluated pre- and 1 year postoperatively, controls in a single visit. Differences in kinematic data were analyzed using statistical parametric mapping, and correlations between dynamic hip ROM and HOOS were calculated. Walking speed and stride length significantly increased (+0.08 m/s, P=0.019; +0.06m, P=0.048) after THA but did not reach the level of asymptomatic controls (-0.11 m/s, P=0.028; -0.14 m, P=0.001). Preoperative hip and knee kinematics differed significantly from controls. After THA, they improved significantly and did not differ from controls. Dynamic hip flexion-extension ROM correlated positively with all HOOS subscores (r>0.417; P≤0.001). The change in HOOS symptoms in patients was explained by the combination of baseline HOOS symptoms and change in dynamic hip ROM (r2 =0.748) suggesting that the additional information gained with IMU gait analysis helps to complement and objectify PROMs pre- and postoperatively and to monitor treatment related improvements. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.