Background: Globally osteoarthritis of the knee is a leading cause of disability. Hip abductor strength and activation are essential for maintaining postural balance during transfers and are related to joint loading and progression during weight-bearing activities. Strength deficits in the hip abductors might cause a reduction in the lower extremity force generation, thereby causing stress on the medial tibiofemoral joint. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the effectiveness of hip abductor strengthening on knee joint loading, knee pain and functional outcome measures in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Methods: Database such as Scopus, PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) database and PEDro were reviewed to recognize the trials published in English from inception to December 2020. Randomized controlled trials that studied the effectiveness of hip abductor strengthening in subjects with knee osteoarthritis and its impact on knee joint loading, knee pain and functional outcome measures were included. RevMan 5.4 was used for meta-analysis and forest plot construction. Quality assessment of the included studies was carried out using the PEDro scale. Results and discussion: The search yielded 260 results of which 29 full-text articles were screened. The review includes 7 randomized controlled trials and 3 studies with good methodological quality were included for meta-analysis. The meta-analysis of the articles favored hip abductor strengthening intervention over the control group. Hip abductor strengthening had significantly reduced the VAS [SMD = -0.60[-0.88, -0.33] p < 0.0001]at 95% CI and improved the WOMAC scores [SMD – 0.75[-1.05,-0.45] p < 0.0001] at 95% CI. All of the included studies concluded that strengthening the hip abductor muscle had a positive impact on knee pain and functional outcomes. Conclusion: The current study found high-quality evidence to support the use of hip abductor muscle strengthening exercises as a rehabilitative treatment for subjects with knee osteoarthritis. Trial registration: CRD42021256251.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine