Self-rated walking disability and dynamic ankle joint stiffness in children and adolescents with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis receiving intraarticular corticosteroid joint injections of the foot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Children and adolescents with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) exhibit deviations in ankle dynamic joint stiffness (DJS, or moment-angle relationship) compared to healthy peers, but the relationship between ankle DJS and self-reported walking impairments has not been studied. This secondary analysis aimed to investigate the relationship between ankle DJS and self-reported walking disability in juveniles with JIA, and to determine whether intraarticular corticosteroid foot injections (IACI) were associated with long term changes in ankle DJS. Research questions: Is ankle DJS altered in children with JIA reporting walking difficulties compared to children with JIA reporting no walking difficulties? Are IACIs associated with persistent alterations in ankle DJS? Methods: Gait dynamics (DJS), foot pain, and foot-related disability were assessed in 33 children with JIA before intraarticular corticoid foot injection (IACI), and three months after IACI. Using self-reported walking capacity scores, children were classified as either having no walking difficulties (ND) or having walking difficulties (WD). Inferential statistics were used to compare demographics, pain, impairment scores, and ankle DJS between the groups. Results: Before treatment, in the WD group, ankle DJS was significantly decreased both in the early rising phase (ERP = 0.03+0.02 vs. 0.05+0.02 Nm(kg*deg)− 1) and late rising phase (LRP = 0.11+0.06 vs. 0.24+0.22 Nm(kg*deg)-1) compared to the ND group. At three months, the ERP was still significantly decreased in the WD group (ERP = 0.03+0.01 vs. 0.05+0.03 Nm(kg*deg)-1). Significance: Among children and adolescents with JIA who reported walking difficulties prior to IACIs, alterations in DJS in early stance phase (decreased ERP) remained three months after IACI suggesting persistent gait adaptations, possibly related to pain. Pre-treatment gait analysis may aid in identifying children who will not have long term benefit from IACIs in terms of improved gait, and therefore, may be informed and have the choice to be spared the risk of side effects associated with this treatment.


  • Maura D. Iversen
  • Eva Weidenhielm-Broström
  • Ruoli Wang
  • Anna Clara Esbjörnsson
  • Stefan Hagelberg
  • Per Åstrand
External organisations
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Northeastern University
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
  • Orthopedics


  • Ankle joint, Dynamic joint stiffness, Foot, Gait analysis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-261
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch