Volume 53 Number 2, 2016
Pages 229 — 238
Abstract — Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) produces abnormal gait and disproportionately affects older individuals. The current study investigated PAD gait biomechanics in younger (<65 yr) and older (>/=65 yr) subjects. The study included 61 patients with PAD (31 younger, age: 57.4 +/– 5.3 yr, and 30 older, age: 71.9 +/– 5.2 yr) and 52 nondisabled age-matched control subjects. Patients with PAD were tested during pain-free walking and compared with control subjects. Joint kinematics and kinetics (torques) were compared using a 2 x 2 analysis of variance (groups: patients with PAD vs control subjects, age: younger vs older). Patients with PAD had significantly increased ankle and decreased hip range of motion during the stance phase as well as decreased ankle dorsiflexor torque compared with control subjects. Gait changes in older individuals are largely constrained to time-distance parameters. Joint kinematics and kinetics are significantly altered in patients with PAD during pain-free walking. Symptomatic PAD produces a consistent ambulatory deficit across ages definable by advanced biomechanical analysis. The most important finding of the current study is that gait, in the absence of PAD and other ambulatory comorbidities, does not decline significantly with age based on advanced biomechanical analysis. Therefore, previous studies must be examined in the context of patients with potential PAD being present in the population, and future ambulatory studies must include PAD as a confounding factor when assessing the gait function of elderly individuals.
Key words:aging, biomechanics, gait, gait decline, joint angles, joint torques, older adults, peripheral arterial disease, peripheral vascular disease, walking.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, April 12, 2016 10:07 AM