Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The relationship between toe-out angle during gait and progression of medial tibiofemoral osteoarthritis


Background: A greater knee adduction moment increases risk of medial tibiofemoral osteoarthritis (OA) progression. Greater toe-out during gait shifts the ground reaction force vector closer to the centre of the knee, reducing the adduction moment. The present study was designed to test whether greater toe-out is associated with lower likelihood of medial OA progression.

Methods: Baseline assessments included: kinematic/kinetic gait parameters using an optoelectronic camera system, force platform and inverse dynamics to calculate three-dimensional external knee moments; toe-out angle (formed by the line connecting heel strike and toe-off plantar surface centres of pressure and the forward progression line; knee pain; and full-limb alignment. Knee x-rays (semi-flexed) were obtained at baseline and at 18 months, with progression noted as medial joint space grade worsening. With logistic regression, odds ratios (ORs) for progression/5° toe-out were estimated.

Results: In the 56 subjects (59% women, mean age 66.6 years, body mass index (BMI) 29), baseline toe-out angle was less in knees with than without progression (difference –4.4, 95% CI –8.5 to –0.3). Greater toe-out was associated with reduced likelihood of progression (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.98). Adjusting for age, gender, BMI, pain severity and disease severity, the OR was 0.62, 95% CI 0.36 to 1.06. Adjusting for adduction moment (second peak), the OR was 0.72, 95% CI 0.40 to 1.28.

Conclusions: Osteoarthritic knees that progressed had less toeing-out than knees without progression. Greater toe-out was associated with a lower likelihood of progression. Adjustment for covariates did not alter the OR, although the 95% CI included 1. Further adjustment for adduction moment did alter the OR, consistent with the possibility that a mechanism of the effect may be via lowering of the adduction moment.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.