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Knee osteoarthritis and high-heeled shoes

PainSci » bibliography » Kerrigan et al 1998
Tags: orthotics, biomechanics, etiology, arthritis, knee, foot, leg, limbs, pain problems, pro, self-treatment, treatment, devices, aging

Three articles on PainSci cite Kerrigan 1998: 1. The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain2. The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome3. Complete Guide to Plantar Fasciitis

PainSci commentary on Kerrigan 1998: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

Researchers found that wearing high heels caused 23% “increased force across the patellofemoral [kneecap] joint and a greater compressive force on the medial compartment of the knee.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the effects of walking in high heels on joints in the legs. Since osteoarthritis of the knee is twice as common in women as in men, we investigated torques (forces applied about the leg joints) of women who wore high-heeled shoes.

METHODS: We studied 20 healthy women who were comfortable wearing high-heeled shoes. The women walked with their own high-heeled shoes and barefoot. Data were plotted and qualitatively compared; major peak values for high-heeled and barefoot walking were statistically compared. Bonerroni adjustment was made for multiple comparisons. FINDINGS: Measurement showed increased force across the patellofemoral joint and a greater compressive force on the medial compartment of the knee (average 23% greater forces) during walking in high heels than barefoot.

INTERPRETATION: The altered forces at the knee caused by walking in high heels may predispose to degenerative changes in the joint.

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