Wedged Insoles: A New Angle for Treating Knee OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem in aging adults. The hip and the knee are affected most often. Women are more likely to have knee OA than men. When the knee is involved, it's often just on one side of the joint. Doctors report the medial (inside) compartment of the knee is affected 10 times more often than the lateral (outside) edge of the knee joint.
One way to treat this problem is with surgery to realign the knee. But problems can occur, such as injury to the nerves or blood vessels. A more conservative approach uses a wedged insole in the shoe. The insole is commonly made of sponge rubber. It's built up under the outside edge of the heel. The wedge is attached to the foot with strapping tape. This approach changes the position of the ankle bones, which helps line up the knee joint.
The authors report that the insole with strapping works better than just using the insole alone. Patients are able to walk farther with less pain by realigning the ankle and the knee.
The authors also report on the best size of insole for the most relief from painful symptoms. Patients got a better correction with a 16 mm wedge, but it was too uncomfortable. Therefore, the researchers suggest using an eight or 12 mm wedge instead.
Yoshitaka Toda, MD, et al. The Effects of Different Elevations of Laterally Wedged Insoles with Subtalar Strapping on Medial Compartment Osteoarthritis of the Knee. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. April 2004. Vol. 85. No. 4. Pp. 673-677.
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