Gait alteration strategies for knee osteoarthritis: a comparison of joint loading via generic and patient-specific musculoskeletal model scaling techniques
Gait modifications and laterally wedged insoles are non-invasive approaches used to treat medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. However, the outcome of these alterations is still a controversial topic. This study investigates how gait alteration techniques may have a unique effect on individual patients; and furthermore, the way we scale our musculoskeletal models to estimate the medial joint contact force may influence knee loading conditions. Five patients with clinical evidence of medial knee osteoarthritis were asked to walk at a normal walking speed over force plates and simultaneously 3D motion was captured during seven conditions (0°-, 5°-, 10°-insoles, shod, toe-in, toe-out, and wide stance). We developed patient-specific musculoskeletal models, using segmentations from magnetic resonance imaging to morph a generic model to patient-specific bone geometries and applied this morphing to estimate muscle insertion sites. Additionally, models were created of these patients using a simple linear scaling method. When examining the patients’ medial compartment contact force (peak and impulse) during stance phase, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ gait alteration aimed to reduce medial knee loading did not exist. Moreover, the different scaling methods lead to differences in medial contact forces; highlighting the importance of further investigation of musculoskeletal modeling methods prior to use in the clinical setting.