Two-dimensional frontal plane projection angle can identify subgroups of patellofemoral pain patients who demonstrate dynamic knee valgus

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Abstract

Background:

Identifying individuals with patellofemoral pain who demonstrate similar modifiable factors including dynamic knee valgus may be useful in establishing subgroups of patients that can undergo individualised management strategies. However, a lack of objective assessment criteria means that the findings are of limited value to clinicians aiming to distinguish between patients with and without altered frontal plane knee kinematics. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate dynamic knee valgus in individuals with and without patellofemoral pain by determining frontal plane knee alignment during functional activity.

Methods:

Thirty recreationally active individuals with patellofemoral pain and 30 non-injured individuals had frontal plane knee alignment assessed via two-dimensional analysis of the frontal plane projection angle during single limb stance and single limb squats to 60° of knee flexion.

Findings:

Individuals with patellofemoral pain demonstrated excessive frontal plane knee alignment (P = .003; ES = 0.68) compared to uninjured participants during single limb squats. In addition, assessing frontal plane knee alignment using two-dimensional analysis had fair specificity and sensitivity of discriminating patellofemoral pain injury.

Interpretation:

Clinical quantification of two-dimensional frontal plane knee alignment may be utilised to subgroup patients with patellofemoral pain that display dynamic knee valgus during single limb squats. Furthermore, this may be a useful clinical tool to determine individuals that may be at risk of developing pain in the future.

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