Senior Project Advisor
knee osteoarthritis, high heel walking, external abduction torque, varus forces
The objective of this study is to summarize literature regarding the relationship between high heel use and development of knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is a progressively degenerative disease commonly observed in women with well documented biological and environmental risk factors. Deviations in walking mechanics caused by walking in high heels result in compressive forces on the medial aspect of the knee joint consistent with degenerative changes in the cartilage indicative of knee osteoarthritis. Frequent high heel wearing may also degrade the knee joint capsule, resulting in pain. Due to genetic predisposition, women are already at high risk for knee osteoarthritis development, so further stress placed on the joint capsule and cartilage by wearing high heels accentuates the risk of knee osteoarthritis development. This review also explores potential psychosocial motivations for wearing high heels to give context to frequent use of heels, despite high levels of associated pain and injury. Further recommendations are presented to reduce risk of injury with high heel use for women who choose to wear heels.
Health and Human Development
Carlson, Emily, "Risk of Knee Osteoarthritis Associated with High Heel Use" (2020). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 421.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Knee--Diseases; Osteoarthritis--Etiology; Women's shoes--Health aspects; Women's shoes--Social aspects
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