Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of step-rate manipulation on running mechanics following hip/knee surgery. We hypothesized that incorporating step-rate manipulation during return to running would lead to a decreased pain level on the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) and a decrease in abnormal running gait mechanics when viewed by video analysis. Subjects: 7 subjects (4 males, 3 females) Methods: Subjects participated in an individualized post-operative rehabilitation program supervised by a licensed physical therapist. Once subjects met predetermined criteria to allow for return to running, step-rate was manipulated using a metronome to 170 steps/minute during treadmill running. Data was collected pre- and post-cadence manipulation for all subjects. Objective measurements included the NPRS and seven qualitative running mechanics categories, which were characterized as either “appropriate” or “inappropriate.” Results: A paired samples t-test revealed an insignificant improvement (p > 0.05) from preferred to set cadence regarding the number of “inappropriate” running mechanics categories. Of the four patients who reported their pain level, none experienced a change in pain. Conclusions: Step-rate manipulation does not significantly decrease immediate symptoms of pain, nor significantly improve appropriateness of treadmill running mechanics. Clinical Relevance: Step-rate manipulation has been shown to decrease forces at the knee however, to the knowledge of the authors, no previous studies have incorporated this finding into post-operative rehabilitation of the hip or knee. Although this study did not find a significant improvement, further research is warranted to examine if step-rate manipulation may be beneficial in a rehabilitation setting.
Burnham, Alison; Chancey, Brooke; and Price, Vanessa, "Utilization of Step-Rate Manipulation During Post-Operative Rehabilitation of ACL-R: A Retrospective Case Series Analysis" (2018). UCF DPT Research Capstone. 8.