Relationships between Knee Valgus, Hip-Muscle Strength, and Hip-Muscle Recruitment during a Single-Limb Step-Down

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John H. Hollman
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Barbara E. Ginos
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Jakub Kozuchowski
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Amanda S. Vaughn
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David A. Krause
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James W. Youdas
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Context:

Reduced strength and activation of hip muscles might correlate with increased weight-bearing knee valgus.

Objective:

To describe relationships among frontal-plane hip and knee angles, hip-muscle strength, and electromyographic (EMG) recruitment in women during a step-down.

Design:

Exploratory study.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

20 healthy women 20 to 30 years of age.

Interventions:

Frontal-plane hip and knee angles were measured. Gluteus maximus and medius recruitment were examined with surface EMG. Hip-abduction and -external-rotation strength were quantified with handheld dynamometry.

Main Outcome Measurements:

The authors analyzed correlation coefficients between knee and hip angles, gluteus maximus and medius EMG, and hip-abduction and -external-rotation strength.

Results:

Hip-adduction angles (r = .755, P = .001), gluteus maximus EMG (r = −.451, P = .026), and hip-abduction strength (r = .455, P = .022) correlated with frontal-plane projections of knee valgus.

Conclusions:

Gluteus maximus recruitment might have greater association with reduced knee valgus in women than does external-rotation strength during step-down tasks. Gluteus medius strength might be associated with increased knee valgus.

The authors are with the Program in Physical Therapy, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.

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