Background: Trunk lean over the stance limb during gait has been linked to a reduction in the knee adduction moment, which is associated with joint loading. We examined differences in knee adduction moments and frontal plane trunk lean during gait between subjects with knee osteoarthritis and a control group of healthy adults. Methods: Gait analysis was performed on 80 subjects (40 osteoarthritis). To define lateral trunk lean two definitions were used. The line connecting the midpoint between two reference points on the pelvis and the midpoint between the acromion processes was projected onto the lab frontal plane and the pelvis frontal plane. Pelvic tilt was also measured in the frontal plane as the angle between the pelvic and lab coordinate systems. Angles were calculated across the stance phase of gait. We analyzed the data, (i) by extracting discrete parameters (mean and peak) waveform values, and (ii) using principal component analysis to extract shape and magnitude differences between the waveforms. Findings: Osteoarthritis subjects had a higher knee adduction moment than the control group (α = 0.05). Although the discrete parameters for trunk lean did not show differences between groups, principal component analysis did detect characteristic waveform differences between the control and osteoarthritis groups. Interpretation: A thorough biomechanical analysis revealed small differences in the pattern of motion of the pelvis and the trunk between subjects with knee osteoarthritis and control subjects; however these differences were only detectable using principal component analysis. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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