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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