Gait disturbances in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
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Department of Rehabilitation, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland
Department of Cardiology with OIOK and Hemodynamic Laboratory, Bialystok, Poland
Department of Human Anatomy, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland
Submission date: 2019-07-05
Final revision date: 2019-12-27
Acceptance date: 2020-01-25
Online publication date: 2020-05-28
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammation resulting in the involvement of all the structures constituting a joint. We determined the type and severity of foot deformities, determined the impact of the degree of disturbances of foot statics and the disease activity on the duration of the particular phases of gait, determined the impact of the maximum foot load and the percentage distribution of loads between the forefoot and hindfoot on the duration of the particular phases of gait, and established the link between observed disorders and the stage of rheumatoid arthritis.

Material and methods:
The control group consisted of 41 healthy women. Rheumatoid arthritis patients, whose disease had been diagnosed based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, were divided into three groups. Group I consisted of 56 women, Group II of 28 patients in the first and second stage of RA, Group III of 28 patients in the third and fourth stage of the disease. We calculated the disease activity score (DAS28 index) and body mass index, and we conducted a pedobarographic examination.

The results obtained in our study revealed the disturbances of the parameters of foot statics in RA patients. We also detected a prolongation of gait phases, resulting from the disturbances of statics and the displacement of the maximum foot load both in static and dynamic conditions. Increased activity of the disease constituted an additional factor affecting the prolongation of gait phases.

Our results confirm the usefulness of baropodometric examination as an important diagnostic tool in the evaluation of the locomotor system of RA patients.