Sex Differences in Coupled Knee Motions during the Transition from Non-Weight Bearing to Weight Bearing

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Randy J. Schmitz, Associate Professor (Creator)
Sandra J. Shultz, Professor and Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Knee ligament injuries frequently happen when the joint transitions from non-weight bearing (NWB) to weight bearing (WB). To gain insight into the mechanism that produces these injuries, physically active females (N = 41) and males (N = 39) underwent measurement of coupled joint displacements [anterior tibial translation (ATT) and varus–valgus and internal–external rotations] and neuromuscular responses as the knee transitioned from NWB to WB in response to a 40% body weight load applied under the control of gravity. The transition from NWB to WB produced no difference in ATT between males and females; however, significant sex-based differences were noted for both transverse and frontal plane knee motions. With the knee NWB, females were in a greater absolute valgus compared to males (6.6 vs. 5.0°), and moved through greater varus motion than males during the transition from NW to WB (2.3 vs. 1.4°), resulting in similar valgus alignment for both sexes at peak WB (4.3 vs. 3.6°). In the transverse plane, the knees of females were positioned in more external rotation compared to males when NWB (1.4 vs. –0.3°), then females externally rotated their knees while males internally rotated their knees during the transition from NWB to WB. This resulted in a 3.4° difference in transverse plane knee position at peak WB (2.3 vs. –1.1°). Our findings suggest that the coupled knee motions produced during the transition from NWB to WB are sex dependent, and may provide insight into the knee motion patterns that place females at increased risk of knee ligament injury.

Additional Information

Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 27(6), 717-723
Language: English
Date: 2009
knee biometrics, tibiofemoral joint, joint laxity, axial compression

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