Impaired gait in ankylosing spondylitis

  • Silvia Del Din
  • Elena Carraro
  • Zimi Sawacha
  • Annamaria Guiotto
  • Lara Bonaldo
  • Stefano Masiero
  • Claudio Cobelli
Original Article


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic, inflammatory rheumatic disease. The spine becomes rigid from the occiput to the sacrum, leading to a stooped position. This study aims at evaluating AS subjects gait alterations. Twenty-four subjects were evaluated: 12 normal and 12 pathologic in stabilized anti-TNF-alpha treatment (mean age 49.42 (10.47), 25.44 (3.19) and mean body mass index 55.75 (3.19), 23.73 (2.7), respectively). Physical examination and gait analysis were performed. A motion capture system synchronized with two force plates was used. Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics of trunk, pelvis, hip, knee and ankle were determined during gait. A trend towards reduction was found in gait velocity and stride length. Gait analysis results showed statistically significant alterations in the sagittal plane at each joint for AS patients (P < 0.049). Hip and knee joint extension moments showed a statistically significant reduction (P < 0.044). At the ankle joint, a decreased plantarflexion was assessed (P < 0.048) together with the absence of the heel rocker. Gait analysis, through gait alterations identification, allowed planning-specific rehabilitation intervention aimed to prevent patients’ stiffness together with improve balance and avoid muscles’ fatigue.


Ankylosing spondylitis Kinematics Kinetics Three dimensional Gait analysis 



The authors thank the contribution of Roberta Guglielmin and Mariangela Sambini for their help in collecting the clinical data on AS patients.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Del Din
    • 1
  • Elena Carraro
    • 2
  • Zimi Sawacha
    • 1
  • Annamaria Guiotto
    • 1
  • Lara Bonaldo
    • 2
  • Stefano Masiero
    • 2
  • Claudio Cobelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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