Medial Knee Osteoarthritis: Lateral Wedge Insoles Interview with:
Matthew Parkes
Research Statistician
Research in Osteoarthritis Manchester (ROAM)
Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit
Centre for Musculoskeletal Research
Institute of Inflammation and Repair
The University of Manchester
Manchester Academic Health Science Centre
Manchester M13 9PT What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Looking at all trials of lateral wedge insoles, they seem to reduce pain slightly.

However, looking at trials which compare lateral wedges to flat wedges, they don’t appear to differ in terms of pain reduction. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: The fact that the flat vs. wedged insole trials were so consistent in showing no superiority of wedges over flat insoles was perhaps unexpected, given the wide-ranging opinions both in support of and against wedges. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer:  That, aside from a placebo effect, wedge insoles provide little arthritis pain relief. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer:  Shoe inserts would be a popular and cheap approach for treating knee arthritis. It is likely that different types of shoes or orthotics are effective, even if those wedge insoles that are used currently are not.

Link to article:


Parkes MJ, Maricar N, Lunt M, et al. Lateral Wedge Insoles as a Conservative Treatment for Pain in Patients With Medial Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-analysis. JAMA. 2013;310(7):722-730. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.243229.

Last Updated on September 19, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD