Gait asymmetry is observed after total knee replacement, often leading to excessive forces at the contralateral limb. The number of total knee replacement procedures has increased substantially over the past 2 decades, particularly among younger patients. Relatively little is known regarding these younger patients (<65 y), specifically, with respect to gait asymmetry. The purpose of this study was to investigate if age affects gait asymmetry after unilateral total knee replacement. Three-dimensional analysis of 10 walking trials was collected from the following 4 groups: younger patient (age: 54.3 [7.9] y), younger control (age: 55.2 [4.0] y), older patient (age: 76.9 [4.7] y), and older control (age: 77.7 [4.1] y). The older patients, but not any of the other groups, demonstrated a significantly larger heel strike transient and peak knee adduction moment at the nonsurgical compared with the surgical limb. The observed gait pattern of the younger patients resembled that of the younger controls, rather than the older patients. The greater loading of the nonsurgical limb for the older patients could contribute to the initiation or further progression of osteoarthritic degeneration in the contralateral knee; these asymmetries were not observed for the younger patients.
Rachael C. Stone, Zina Rakhamilova, William H. Gage and Joseph Baker
While physical activity is increasingly promoted for older adults, there is a paucity of sport promotion, which has distinct benefits from exercise and remains stereotypically associated with younger age. Curling is a moderately intense and safe sport that continues to gain popularity; however, no research has investigated psychophysical benefits of curling for older adults. The present study compares high-experience (20+ years; n = 63) and low-experience (<20 years; n = 53) curlers (aged 60+ years) with older adult noncurlers (n = 44) on measures of daily functionality, balance confidence, and perceptions of the aging process. While no significant differences were found between high- and low-experience curlers, any level of experience reported significantly better functionality, physical confidence, and aging attitudes compared to noncurlers (p ≤ .05). Although further research is necessary, the results suggest that any level of curling experience can enhance older adult psychophysical well-being, and warrants consideration for physical activity promotion and falls prevention programs.