Multi-joint biomechanics during sloped walking in patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip

Brecca M.M. Gaffney, Linda R. Van Dillen, Jacqueline N. Foody, Paige E. Burnet, John C. Clohisy, Ling Chen, Michael D. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Developmental dysplasia of the hip is characterized by abnormal acetabular and femoral geometries that alter joint loading and increase the risk of hip osteoarthritis. Current understanding of biomechanics in this population remains isolated to the hip and largely focused on level-ground walking, which may not capture the variable loading conditions that contribute to symptoms and intra-articular damage. Methods: Thirty young adult females (15 with dysplasia) underwent gait analysis during level, 10° incline, and 10° decline walking while whole-body kinematics, ground reaction forces, and electromyography (EMG) were recorded. Low back, hip, and knee joint kinematics and internal joint moments were calculated using a 15-segment model and integrated EMG was calculated within the functional phases of gait. Dependent variables (peak joint kinematics, moments, and integrated EMG) were compared across groups with a one-way ANOVA with multiple comparisons controlled for using the Benjamini-Hochberg method (α = 0.05). Findings: During level and incline walking, patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip had significantly lower trunk flexion angles, lumbar and knee extensor moments, and erector spinae activity than controls. Patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip also demonstrated reduced rectus femoris activity during loading of level walking and increased gluteus maximus activity during mid-stance of decline walking. Interpretation: Patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip adopt compensations both proximal and distal to the hip, which vary depending on the slope of walking. Furthering the understanding of multi-joint biomechanical compensations is important for understanding the mechanism of osteoarthritis development as well as secondary conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105335
JournalClinical Biomechanics
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Biomechanical compensation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Regional interdependence
  • Sloped walking


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