KNEE VALGUS ANGLE AND LOADING ACROSS COMMON ATHLETIC TASKS; REFERENCE VALUES AND GENDER DIFFERENCES IN A HEALTHY POPULATION

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Abstract

Background

Abnormal lower-limb mechanics during functional activities have been reported as being associated with several knee injuries. Hence it is important to develop screening tests to identify healthy individuals who may be susceptible to knee injury and then to design individual intervention programs.

Objective

To established reference values for knee valgus angle and moment during single leg squat (SLS), single leg landing (SLL), running (RUN), and cutting (CUT) tasks. Moreover, assessing gender differences in knee biomechanics during these tasks.

Design

An observational study.

Setting

Undertaken in the human performance laboratory at the University of Salford.

Participants

90 healthy individuals, 55 males and 35 females, (age 25.2±5.1 years; height 1.6±7.38 m; and mass 67.6 ±10.93 kg) were recruited.

Assessment of Risk Factors

Qualisys motion analysis system (10 Cameras) connected to an AMTI force platform were used to collect knee biomechanical variables. Then, Visual 3D software (C-Motion, USA) was used to process all data.

Main Outcome Measurements

Knee valgus angles and moments during SLS, SLL, RUN and CUT tasks.

Results

Knee valgus angle values were: SLS (−1.5°±4.1), SLL (−4.2°±4.9), RUN (−5.2°±4.3), and CUT (−8.3°±6.1). Knee valgus moment values for SLS, SLL, RUN and CUT were (0.01±0.1; 0.49±0.3; 0.31±0.1; 1.2±0.6, Nm/kg), respectively. Females demonstrated significantly higher knee valgus angles across all tasks. Knee-valgus moments were significantly different between the genders during RUN and CUT tasks (p=0.007 and 0.001, respectively).

Discussion

Finding reference values for knee valgus angles and loading during commonly assessed screening tasks in non-injured individuals may help to find ways of identifying at-risk individuals for non-contact knee injuries associated with misalignment, such ACL and PFPS. However, more research is required to discover the underlying causes of poor mechanics when performing these tasks, this would help in devising more efficient injury-prevention protocols.

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