Valgus-varus motion of the knee in normal level walking and stair climbing

B. Yu, M. J. Stuart, T. Kienbacher, E. S. Growney, K. N. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective. The knee valgus-varus moment and the knee angles were compared between normal level walking and stair climbing. Design. Ten healthy subjects were tested for ascent, descent, and level walking. Background. An understanding of the normal valgus-varus motion of the knee during stair climbing is needed to apply biomechanical analysis of stair climbing as a evaluation tool for knee osteoarthritis patients. Methods. A motion analysis system, three force plates, and a flight of stairs were used to collect kinematic and kinetic data. The knee angles and moments were calculated from the collected kinematic and kinetic data. Results. The knee varus angle for the maximum knee valgus moments in stair climbing was significantly greater than that in level walking. The knee valgus moment was significantly correlated to ground reaction forces and knee valgus-varus angle during stair climbing and level walking. Conclusions. There is a coupling between the knee valgus-varus motion and flexion-extension motion. Ground reaction forces are the major contributors to the within-subject variation in the knee valgus-varus moment during stair climbing and level walking. The knee valgus-varus angle is a major contributor to the between-subject variation in the knee valgus moment during stair climbing and level walking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Dynamics load
  • Knee
  • Moment
  • Stair climbing
  • Varus angle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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