Observational ratings of frontal plane knee position are related to the frontal plane projection angle but not the knee abduction angle during a step-down task

Debi Jones, Susan M. Tillman, Kari Tofte, Ryan L. Mizner, Scott Greenberg, Michael W. Moser, Terese L. Chmielewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

•STUDY DESIGN: Laboratory study, cross-sectional. •OBJECTIVES: To determine if the magnitude of frontal plane knee angle, as determined with a 3-D motion-capture system (knee abduction angle [KAA]) or digital video (frontal plane projection angle [FPPA]), varies among groups of individuals with different frontal plane knee position, as determined by observational ratings. •BACKGROUND: Performing functional tasks with the knee positioned medial to the foot may increase the risk for knee injury. The KAA and FPPA are commonly used in research settings to determine injury risk. However, observational ratings of frontal plane knee position are easier to perform in the clinical setting. It is not clear whether observational ratings of knee position can be used as a surrogate for the KAA or FPPA. •METHODS: Eighty-one female collegiate athletes performed a lateral step-down task. Participants were rated as good, fair, or poor based on observation of their knee position relative to the foot in the frontal plane and assigned to observational rating groups. Movement was concurrently recorded with a 3-D motion-capture system and a digital video camera to calculate KAA and FPPA, respectively. •RESULTS: Knee abduction angle did not differ among participants assigned to the different observational rating groups (P = .265). In contrast, FPPA values differed between groups (P<.001), with the highest values in the poor group and the lowest values in the good group. •CONCLUSION: Observational ratings of frontal plane knee position relative to the foot are an appropriate clinical substitute for FPPA but not KAA. Therefore, observational ratings of medial knee position may be more suitable as a clinical screening tool when FPPA is the measure of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-978
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Volume44
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Anterior knee pain
  • Injury prevention
  • Injury screenings
  • Knee valgus

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