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Post-op gait analysis

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  • Post-op gait analysis

    Dear All,

    I am planning a gait analysis project with participants who have undergone total hip replacement. It is my intention to perform gait analysis just prior to surgery and at two point post-surgery. The first of these will be at three months post-op and the second has yet to be finallised. I understand from the existing literature (e.g. Bennett et al., Gait & Posture 28 (2008) 194–200) that the patients will probably not recover full gait function to normal levels. However, is there a consensus as to when patients have recovered as much gait function as they will ever achieve ("fully rehabilitated")?

    Perron et al. reported in 2000 (Clinical Biomechanics 15 (2000) 504-515) that after 6 months post-op further improvement is slow. While Nantel et al. (Arch Phys Med Rehabil Vol 90 (2009) 463-469) stated that most of the progress occurs within the first 3-6 months. I have read many papers which have reported upon gait analysis of this patient group, most of these studies have only performed gait analysis on one occassion and the analysis has been carried out at a variety of post-op periods. Some of these have performed the analysis at six months while others have waited many years post-op before analysis.
    Although I would rather perform my final gait analysis as late as possible, there are some time constraints which have to be addressed. My options for the final testing session are 9 and 12 months post-op. I want my final testing session to reflect, as much as possible, the patients' "fully rehabilitated" condition.

    Would this be accepted by the community if my final session was carried out at 9 months post-op, or indeed at 12 months?

    Has any study carried out gait analysis on this patient group at a number of fixed points post-op and reported on the recovery over time?

    What does thecommunity view as the minimum post-op period which could be taken as "fully recovered"?

    All advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Alistair Ewen
    PhD Student, School of Psychology & Sport Sciences,
    University of Northumbria,
    Newcastle upon Tyne,

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