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John D. McCamley, Eric L. Cutler, Kendra K. Schmid, Shane R. Wurdeman, Jason M. Johanning, Iraklis I. Pipinos and Sara A. Myers

Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) experience significant leg dysfunction. The effects of PAD on gait include shortened steps, slower walking velocity, and altered gait kinematics and kinetics, which may confound joint torques and power measurements. Spatiotemporal parameters and joint torques and powers were calculated and compared between 20 patients with PAD and 20 healthy controls using independent t tests. Separate analysis of covariance models were used to evaluate group differences after independently adjusting for gait velocity, stride length, and step width. Compared with healthy controls, patients with PAD exhibited reduced peak extensor and flexor torques at the knee and hip. After adjusting for all covariates combined, differences between groups remained for ankle power generation in late stance and knee flexor torque. Reduced walking velocity observed in subjects affected by PAD was closely connected with reductions in joint torques and powers during gait. Gait differences remained at the knee and ankle after adjusting for the combined effect of spatiotemporal parameters. Improving muscle function through exercise or with the use of assistive devices needs to be a key tool in the development of interventions that aim to enhance the ability of PAD patients to restore spatiotemporal gait parameters.