Background Obesity has a negative impact on motor function, leading to an increase in fall risk. Massive weight loss improves some aspects of gait on flat ground. However, we have little information about whether gait changes during flat-ground walking and during more complex motor tasks beyond flat-ground walking. Objectives Our objectives were to examine how massive weight loss after Roux-en-Y bariatric surgery affects gait during flat-ground walking and obstacle crossing 1 year postsurgery. Setting University hospital, United States. Methods Nineteen women walked under 5 conditions: initial baseline walking on flat ground, crossing 3 obstacle heights, and final baseline walking on flat ground, for a total of 25 trials. Spatiotemporal gait parameters were collected simultaneously using a gait carpet and body-worn sensors. Results Gait improved postsurgery, with the strongest effect observed for double-limb support time during flat-ground walking (P<.001) and obstacle crossing (P<.001). The reduction in body mass index was correlated with improved swing (P<.01) and double-limb support time (P<.01) during flat-ground walking and improved swing during obstacle crossing on low (P<.01), medium (P<.01), and high (P<.01) obstacles. Improved gait postsurgery was more pronounced on high obstacles for velocity (P<.001) and double-limb support time (P< .001). Conclusions Massive weight loss results in improved spatiotemporal gait patterns during flat-ground walking. Examining how massive weight loss affects spatiotemporal gait may help create ways to encourage a more active lifestyle for adults with obesity.
- Bariatric surgery
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