Gait and functionality following unilateral and bilateral hip replacement

Abstract Introduction: Total Hip Replacement (THR) is a surgical procedure used to minimize symptoms generated by orthopedic pathologies, such as osteoarthritis. It is emphasized that there is no agreement if gait parameters are restored after surgery. Objective: To compare gait space-time and functionality between individuals submitted to unilateral or bilateral THR in relation to healthy controls. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 23 subjects, eight submitted to Bilateral THR (BG), eight submitted to Unilateral THR (UG) and seven healthy individuals (CG). For the gait analysis, the 10-meter walk test was used, with the subjects walking in their Habitual (HS) and Maximal (MS) gait Speeds. Variables of interest included average speed, number of steps, test duration, cadence and Inter-Stride Time Variability (ISTV). Functionality was assessed by the Harris Hip Score and the WOMAC questionnaire. Comparisons were made between the three groups. Results: At the HS condition, the average gait speed was significantly lower in the BG compared to the CG. Similarly, during the MS condition, the BG showed a lower gait speed compared to the CG. During MS gait, the BG performed significantly worse regarding ISTV compared to both the UG, and the CG. The functionality results showed that both the BG and UG scored significantly worse than the CG. Conclusion: Hip functionality and gait mechanics are impaired even after several years of surgery in subjects submitted to THR.