Anatomic and mechanical factors that affect loading in the knee joint can contribute to pathologic changes seen at the knee in degenerative joint disease and should be considered in treatment planning. The objectives of this study were to quantify the relationships between the alignment of the bones of the lower extremity, foot progression angle, and knee adduction moment, and to determine the reliability of our gait measurements. Gait analysis and complete radiographic evaluation of the lower extremity were performed on 11 healthy subjects. The gait measurements were recorded with an optoelectronic digitizer and a multicomponent force plate. The subjects who had radiographic measurements indicative of varus alignment of the lower extremity had statistically higher peaks in knee adduction moment in early stance. Conversely, those with valgus alignment of the lower extremity had statistically lower peaks in knee adduction moment in early stance. The subjects who had a large toe-out angle and low ankle inversion moment peaks in late stance had significantly lower peaks in knee adduction moment in late stance. These significant (low to moderate) correlations suggest that the limbs with more valgus alignment and those with a toe-out gait exhibited a reduced peak adduction moment at the knee. To verify the reproducibility of the data, gait analysis testing was performed on each lower limb on 2 separate days for each subject. Analysis of variance showed that there was no significant difference between test limbs or test days for each subject. Our results suggest that the alignment of the lower limb and the foot progression angle, which can be readily measured in a clinical setting, can serve as predictors of knee joint loading in healthy individuals. These findings may have important implications for both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of abnormalities of the knee joint.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine