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Osteoarthritis in the disabled population: a mechanical perspective




Publication Info:

PM R, 4(5 Suppl):S20-7


Primary disabling conditions, such as amputation, not only limit mobility, but also predispose individuals to secondary musculoskeletal impairments, such as osteoarthritis (OA) of the intact limb joints, that can result in additive disability. Altered gait biomechanics that cause increased loading of the intact limb have been suggested as a cause of the increased prevalence of intact limb knee and hip osteoarthritis in this population. Optimizing socket fit and prosthetic alignment, as well as developing and prescribing prosthetic feet with improved push-off characteristics, can lead to reduced asymmetric loading of the intact limb and therefore are potential strategies to prevent and treat osteoarthritis in the amputee population. Research on disabled populations associated with altered biomechanics offers an opportunity to focus on the mechanical risk factors associated with this condition. Continued research into the causes of secondary disability and the development of preventive strategies are critical to enable optimal rehabilitation practices to maximize function and quality of life in patients with disabilities.

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