Gait analysis and WOMAC are complementary in assessing functional outcome in total hip replacement

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the correlation between objective and subjective evaluation of patients with total hip replacement.

Design

Prospective preliminary trial comparing the Western Ontario and McMaster University questionnaire (WOMAC) and gait analysis preoperatively and three months postoperatively.

Setting

A German academic orthopaedic centre specializing in total hip replacement surgery.

Subjects

Seventeen patients (median age 70 years) with hip osteoarthritis.

Intervention

All patients had had a primary unilateral total hip replacement.

Main measures

WOMAC questionnaire to assess self-perceived health status and gait analysis to determine objective gait parameters.

Results

Performance of walking as well as subjective judgement of health status improved following surgery (gait speed P = 0.0222; stride length P = 0.038; stance phase ratio P = 0.0466; WOMAC P < 0.0001). However, the correlation between gait parameters and WOMAC was poor (r = −0.27 or less). Correlation between changes of walking parameters and WOMAC was bad to good (r = 0.01 to r = −0.72).

Conclusion

The WOMAC questionnaire might not reflect walking performance. The addition of gait analysis is recommended to gain objective information about the quality of gait.

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