Altered control strategy between leading and trailing leg increases knee adduction moment in the elderly while descending stairs

Publikationen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


  • Kiros Karamanidis
  • Adamantios Arampatzis



The aim of the study was to examine the external knee adduction moments in a group of older and younger adults while descending stairs and thus the possibility of an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis due to altered knee joint loading in the elderly. Twenty-seven older and 16 younger adults descended a purpose-built staircase. A motion capture system and a force plate were used to determine the subjects' 3D kinematics and ground reaction forces (GRF) during locomotion. Calculation of the leg kinematics and kinetics was done by means of a rigid, three-segment, 3D leg model. In the initial portion of the support phase, older adults showed a more medio-posterior GRF vector relative to the ankle joint, leading to lower ankle joint moments (P<0.05). At the knee, the older adults demonstrated a more medio-posterior directed GRF vector, increasing in knee flexion and adduction in the second part of the single support phase (P<0.05). Further, GRF magnitude was lower in the initial and higher in the mid-portions of the support phase for the elderly (P<0.05). The results show that older adults descend stairs by using the trailing leg before the initiation of the double support phase more compared to the younger ones. The consequence of this altered control strategy while stepping down is a more medially directed GRF vector increasing the magnitude of external knee adduction moment in the elderly. The observed changes between leading and trailing leg in the elderly may cause a redistribution of the mechanical load at the tibiofemoral joint, affecting the initiation and progression of knee osteoarthritis in the elderly.

ZeitschriftJournal of biomechanics
Seiten (von - bis)706-711
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 24.02.2011

ID: 20240


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