Gender Differences in Lower Limb Kinematics During Stair Descent

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The purpose of this study was to compare lower limb kinematics between genders during stair descent. Fifteen females and fifteen males who were healthy and active were included in this study. The lower limb kinematics (pelvis, femur and knee) in the coronal and transversal planes were assessed during stair descent at 30°, 40°, 50° and 60° of knee flexion. The study found that females showed greater knee medial rotation for all the knee flexion angles (P = .02−.001), greater femoral adduction (P = .01 for all variables), with exception for 30° (P = .13), and greater femoral lateral rotation at 60° (P = .04). Females also showed a trend to have greater knee valgus at all the knee flexion angles (P = .06−.11) as well as less contralateral pelvis elevation at 50° and 60° (P = .10 and .12, respectively). This study showed that females carry out the stair descent with a lower limb alignment that might predispose them to develop overuse knee injuries, such as the iliotibial band syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome. Further prospective investigations should be carried out to verify whether these variables are factors that could predict these knee injuries.

Rodrigo de M. Baldon, Daniel F.M. Lobato, Leonardo Furlan, and Fábio V. Serrão (Corresponding Author) are with the Department of Physical Therapy, São Carlos Federal University, São Carlos, SP, Brazil.