Original Article
January 1972

Gait Characteristics of the Rheumatoid Knee

Author Affiliations

Little Rock, Ark; Iowa City
From the departments of orthopedic surgery (Drs. Kettelkamp and Misol) and biostatistics (Dr. Leaverton), University of Iowa, Iowa City. Dr. Kettelkamp is now with the Division of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Arkansas Medical Center, Little Rock.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(1):30-34. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180010024006

A study of 41 rheumatoid knees demonstrated significant (P =.05) relationships between the gait characteristics of knee motion during walking, cadence, and stride length with the severity of pain, status of the articular surface, flexion contracture, standing flexion, range of motion, varus-valgus deformity, and abnormality of the contralateral foot. Synovial thickness, effusion, and ligamentous instability did not significantly alter gait. The rheumatoid knee used less of the available motion in walking than did normal knees, 25.2% compared to 46%. Standing knee flexion exceeded fixed flexion deformity in 20 knees and varied from 14° to 40° in four knees without flexion deformity. Quantitative evaluation of the significant clinical features provides an indirect method of assessing knee function.