In people with moderate hip osteoarthritis, gait kinematics was reported to be correlated with number of falls in the preceding year. After Total Hip Arthroplasty, subjects generally improve but still fall. The present study explores recovery and correlations with number of falls in the year after Total Hip Arthroplasty.
We assessed 12 patients one year after Total Hip Arthroplasty, 12 patients with moderate hip osteoarthritis with at least one fall in the preceding year, and 12 healthy peers. Maximum hip abduction strength, Fall Efficacy Scale – International, Harris Hip Score, pain, and number of falls in the preceding year were assessed. Participants walked on a treadmill with increasing speeds, and gait kinematics were registered optoelectronically. We assessed group differences, and correlations of all variables with number of falls.
After arthroplasty, subjects tended to score better on variables measured, often non-significantly, compared to subjects with moderate osteoarthritis, but worse than healthy peers. Maximum hip abduction strength together with fall efficacy had a strong regression on the number of falls in the preceding year (R = 92%). Gait kinematics did not correlate with number of falls, and also fall efficacy was not related to gait kinematics.
One year after hip arthroplasty, muscle strength sufficiently recovered for normal walking, but not to avoid falling in risky situations. Rehabilitation should focus on muscle strength. The lack of correlation between the Fall Efficacy International and gait kinematics, suggests that it reflected the experience of having fallen rather than fear.

Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.