Physical Therapy Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-1-2023


Gait and Posture



URL with Digital Object Identifier



Patellofemoral osteoarthritis (OA) is an important subgroup of knee OA. However, the influence of sex on gait characteristics in patients with patellofemoral OA is unknown.

Research question

Compare gait characteristics in females and males with patellofemoral OA and investigate their associations with patellofemoral joint-related symptoms and limitations.


Mixed effects polynomial regression models compared knee flexion-extension and adduction moments, knee flexion angles, and vertical ground reaction forces over 100% of stance between 26 females and 22 males with patellofemoral OA, with and without adjustment for walking speed and body mass. Multivariable linear regression models were then used to investigate the associations of gait characteristics with symptoms and limitations measured with the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score Patellofemoral Pain and Osteoarthritis (KOOS-PF) Subscale. Models included a sex-by-gait interaction term, and if significant, separate models were built for females and males.


While controlling for walking speed and body mass, females had lower knee flexion moment (6–19% and 97–100% of stance), knee extension moment (45–86% of stance), knee adduction moment (3–37% and 69–99% of stance), vertical ground reaction force (1–97% of stance) and knee flexion angle (90–100% of stance) compared with males, when fitted over 100% of stance. Lower cadence, lower knee flexion angular impulse, and higher peak knee flexion angle were associated with worse KOOS-PF scores. Associations were not modified by sex.


There are distinct sex-based differences in gait characteristics throughout stance with patellofemoral OA when adjusting for body mass and walking speed. Lower cadence and knee flexion angular impulse, and higher peak knee flexion angle were associated with more extreme patellofemoral joint-related symptoms and limitations.

Citation of this paper:

Hart, H., Birmingham, T., Sritharan, P., Primeau, C., King, M., Fischer, L. (2023). Sex-related differences in gait characteristics and their associations with symptoms in individuals with patellofemoral osteoarthritis. Gait & Posture, 107, 35-41.

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