Knee adduction moments are not increased in obese knee osteoarthritis patients during stair negotiation

L. Verlaan*, R. J. Boekesteijn, P. W. Oomen, W. Y. Liu, M. J. M. Peters, P. J. Emans, L. W. van Rhijn, K. Meijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Negotiating stairs is an important activity of daily living that is also associated with large loads on the knee joint. In medial compartment knee osteoarthritis, the knee adduction moment during level walking is considered a marker for disease severity. It could be argued that the discriminative capability of this parameter is even better if tested in a strenuous stair negotiation task.

Research question: What is the relation with knee osteoarthritis on the knee adduction moment during the stance phase of both stair ascent and descent in patients with and without obesity?

Methods: This case control study included 22 lean controls, 16 lean knee osteoarthritis patients, and 14 obese knee osteoarthritis patients. All subjects ascended and descended a two-step staircase at a self-selected, comfortable speed. Three-dimensional motion analysis was performed to evaluate the knee adduction moment during stair negotiation.

Results: Obese knee osteoarthritis patients show a prolonged stance time together with a more flattened knee adduction moment curve during stair ascent. Normalized knee adduction moment impulse, as well as the first and second peaks were not different between groups. During stair descent, a similar increase in stance time was found for both osteoarthritis groups.

Significance: The absence of a significant effect of groups on the normalized knee adduction moment during stair negotiation may be explained by a lower ambulatory speed in the obese knee osteoarthritis group, that effectively lowers vertical ground reaction force. Decreasing ambulatory speed may be an effective strategy to lower knee adduction moment during stair negotiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalGait & Posture
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Obesity
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Stair negotiation
  • Knee adduction moment
  • Biomechanics
  • GAIT
  • OA
  • PAIN

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