Biomechanical influences of gait patterns on knee joint: Kinematic & EMG analysis

Jin Ju Kim, Han Cho, Yulhyun Park, Joonyoung Jang, Jung Woo Kim, Ju Seok Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background As lumbar spinal stenosis commonly occurs between the L2 and L5 segments, hip abductors are easily affected. However, studies regarding the gait pattern in these patients from the coronal plane have not yet been conducted. Purpose To determine the effects of lumbar spinal stenosis on the gait pattern (stride width and femorotibial angle) and hip abductor surface electromyography in varied stride widths compared with healthy individuals. Study design Prospective case-control study. Methods Seventeen patients and 20 healthy individuals were enrolled. Each participant completed three gait assessments in their normal gait, adducted gait and abducted gait. The femorotibial angle and surface electromyography signals were measured. Pain scores was used to quantify the degree of discomfort in the gluteal area and medial side of the knee. Results When the hip abductors' surface electromyography signals were normalized by quadriceps femoris, patients group showed significantly higher activation ratios throughout all gait patterns. Generally, surface electromyography signals and ratios were significantly higher during abducted gait compared with a normal gait. Femorotibial angle became significantly closer to the varus in healthy individuals during abducted gait. When femorotibial angle during normal gait was compared between the two groups, patients group exhibited slightly wider stride width and FTA significantly closer to the varus. Pain scores were significantly higher in the patient group and during abducted gait. Conclusion Wider stride widths indicated increased relative activation of the hip abductors, closer proximity between femorotibial angle and varus, and increased pain scores for discomfort. The same tendency was observed in patients group when compared with healthy individuals. Widening of stride width in patients group despite abductor weakness suggests that additional muscle recruitment may be needed to maintain balance. Furthermore, such a distinctive gait pattern exerts increased loading on the medial knee, relating to the escalated risk of degenerative knee osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0233593
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


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