Gait analysis of the lower limb in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review

H. Baan*, Rosemary Dubbeldam, Anand V. Nene, Martin A.F.J. van de Laar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), signs and symptoms of feet and ankle are common. To evaluate the dynamic function of feet and ankles, namely walking, a variety of gait studies have been published. In this systematic review, we provide a systematic overview of the available gait studies in RA, give a clinimetrical assignment, and review the general conclusions regarding gait in RA.

Methods: A systematic literature search within the databases PubMed, CINAHL, sportdiscus, Embase, and Scopus was described and performed and delivered 78 original gait studies that were included for further data extraction.

Results: The clinimetrical quality of the 78 included RA gait studies measured according a tailored QUADAS item list and proposed clinimetrical criteria by Terwee and coworkers are moderate. General conclusions regarding the walking abnormalities of RA patients point to a slower walk, longer double support time, and avoidance of extreme positions. Frequently found static features in RA are hallux valgus, pes planovalgus, and hind foot abnormalities.

Conclusions: Gait studies in RA patients show moderate clinimetrical properties, but are a challenging way of expressing walking disability. Future gait research should focus on more uniformity in methodology. When this need is satisfied, more clinical applicable conclusions can be drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-788
JournalSeminars in arthritis and rheumatism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Systematic review gait analysis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lower limb
  • Function


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