The assessment of dynamic stability is crucial for the prevention of falls in the elderly and people with functional impairments. Evidence that total knee arthroplasty improves balance in patients with severe osteoarthritis is scarce and no information exists about how the surgery affects dynamic stability during stair negotiation.
This study aims to investigate if patients before and one year after surgery are less stable compared to asymptomatic controls. Seventeen control and twenty-seven patient participants with end-stage knee osteoarthritis that were scheduled to undergo unilateral total knee arthroplasty were recruited in this study. Participants’ assessment was carried out by means of marker-based optical full-body motion capture with force platforms. The extrapolated Centre of mass and the margin of stability metrics were used to examine dynamic stability during stair ascent and descent.
Patient participants, during both pre-operative and post-operative assessments, were equally balanced to the asymptomatic controls during stair gait (p > .188). Additionally, the patients’ overall stability did not improve significantly one year after arthroplasty surgery (p > .252).
Even if pain from arthritis and fear of falling is decreased following surgery, our results indicate that stability in stair walking in not affected by osteoarthritis and total knee arthroplasty.
NCT02422251.

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