The Effect of Foot Progression Angle on Knee Joint Compression Force During Walking

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Henrik Koblauch University of Copenhagen

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Thomas Heilskov-Hansen University of Copenhagen

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Tine Alkjær University of Copenhagen

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Erik B. Simonsen The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital

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Marius Henriksen The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital

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It is unclear how rotations of the lower limb affect the knee joint compression forces during walking. Increases in the frontal plane knee moment have been reported when walking with internally rotated feet and a decrease when walking with externally rotated feet. The aim of this study was to investigate the knee joint compressive forces during walking with internal, external and normal foot rotation and to determine if the frontal plane knee joint moment is an adequate surrogate for the compression forces in the medial and lateral knee joint compartments under such gait modifications. Ten healthy males walked at a fixed speed of 4.5 km/h under three conditions: Normal walking, internally rotated and externally rotated. All gait trials were recorded by six infrared cameras. Net joint moments were calculated by 3D inverse dynamics. The results revealed that the medial knee joint compartment compression force increased during external foot rotation and the lateral knee joint compartment compression force increased during internal foot rotation. The increases in joint loads may be a result of increased knee flexion angles. Further, these data suggest that the frontal plane knee joint moment is not a valid surrogate measure for knee joint compression forces but rather indicates the medial-to-lateral load distribution.

Henrik Koblauch (Corresponding Author), Thomas Heilskov-Hansen, Tine Alkjær, and Erik B. Simonsen are with the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Marius Henriksen is with the Clinical Motor Function Laboratory, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark.

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