Kinematic Differences Between Those With and Without Medial Knee Displacement During a Single-leg Squat

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A greater knee valgus angle is a risk factor for lower extremity injuries. Visually observed medial knee displacement is used as a proxy for knee valgus motion during movement assessments in an attempt to identify individuals at heightened risk for injury. The validity of medial knee displacement as an indicator of valgus motion has yet to be determined during a single-leg squat. This study compared three-dimensional knee and hip angles between participants who displayed medial knee displacement (MKD group) during a single-leg squat and those who did not (control group). Participants completed five single-leg squats. An electromagnetic motion tracking system was used to quantify peak knee and hip joint angles during the descent phase of each squat. MANOVA identified a difference between the MKD and control group kinematics. ANOVA post hoc testing revealed greater knee valgus angle in the MKD (12.86 ± 5.76) compared with the control (6.08 ± 5.23) group. There were no other differences between groups. Medial knee displacement is indicative of knee valgus motion; however, it is not indicative of greater knee or hip rotation, or hip adduction. These data indicate that clinicians can accurately identify individuals with greater knee valgus angle through visually observed medial knee displacement.

Timothy C. Mauntel, Barnett S. Frank, and Darin A. Padua are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Rebecca L. Begalle is with the School of Kinesiology and Recreation, Illinois State University, Normal, IL. J. Troy Blackburn is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Address author correspondence to Timothy C. Mauntel at tmauntel@gmail.com.