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August 2019
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Posts Tagged ‘heel wedge’

Heel Wedge

Heel Wedge

Dr. Lynn Snyder-Mackler recently published a trial that addressed the question:  Do lateral wedge insoles or flat control insoles improve symptoms and slow structural disease progression in medial knee osteoarthritis?

The study concluded that lateral wedge insoles worn for 12 months provided no symptomatic or structural benefits compared with flat control insoles.

The double blind randomized control trial looked at 200 patients with qualified knee pain from osteoarthritis.  Participants wore insoles in both of their shoes everyday for 12 months.  Every four months they switched between the lateral wedge insole and the flat insole.

The results after 12 months is that lateral wedge insoles worn for one year provided no symptomatic or structural benefits compared with flat control insoles.

lateral heel wedges

lateral heel wedge

This is a continuation of our series of articles from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons’ Full Guideline for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis.

Recommendation 8 – Lateral heel wedges are not recommended as a treatment option for osteoarthritis of the knee.

A systematic review of literature reveals there is no evidence that lateral heel wedges are more effective than neutral heel wedges at relieving pain associated with knee OA.  In fact there is some data that suggests patients who do not use lateral heel wedges may experience fewer symptoms than those who do.

Lateral Heel Wedge

An Oregon State University study finds that lateral heel wedge orthotics can help reduce pain in patients suffering from unicompartmental osteoarthritis while walking and descending stairs.

Lateral heel wedges are foot orthotics designed to reduce pain and increase function in patients with unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  36 patients with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis wore custom-made lateral heel wedges daily for 12 weeks.

Function levels and pain levels were recorded.  Three-dimensional gait analysis using cameras, computers, and strain gauge force plates were analyzed.  Subjects were tested walking and descending stairs.  The study concluded that lateral heel wedges are beneficial.

Lateral Heel Wedges must be fit by a certified orthotist.

Wallace David, Efficacy of lateral heel wedge orthotics for the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis.  Oregon State University 2006.