BACKGROUND: Gluteal-tendon repair is reported to be effective for relieving pain and improving function in patients with gluteal-tendon tears. However, post-operative three-dimensional gait analysis has never been conducted in gluteal-tendon repair patients. Thus, our primary aim was to investigate how biomechanical gait parameters differ between age- and sex-matched participants with and without gluteal-tendon repair.
METHODS: Vicon motion analysis technology was used to measure gait characteristics of 25 gluteal-tendon repair participants and 29 matched healthy comparison group participants. A generalised linear multivariate model was used to compare external hip-adduction moment, range of movement in hip adduction and internal rotation, pelvic obliquity, trunk lean, stride length and velocity of both cohorts throughout stance.
FINDINGS: There were no differences between the groups in external hip adduction moment, pelvic obliquity and range of movement in hip adduction and internal rotation. Gluteal-tendon repair participants had a shorter stride length (P = 0.031) and reduced walking velocity (P = 0.015). Ipsilateral trunk lean was reduced in gluteal-tendon repair participants at the first-peak external hip-adduction moment (P = 0.016), mid-stance minimum external hip-adduction moment (P = 0.029) and second-peak external hip-adduction moment (P = 0.006).
INTERPRETATION: There were no differences between the gluteal-tendon repair and comparison groups for external hip-adduction moment and pelvic obliquity. This suggests that gluteal-tendon repair may restore hip control in stance. Slower walking speed, reduced stride length and decreased ipsilateral trunk lean may reflect persistence of pre-operatively developed gait adaptations. Future studies of gait biomechanics before and after gluteal-tendon repair would be needed to substantiate this theory.