An evaluation of the correlation between the free moments applied on the lower extremity and the knee extensor mechanism force in pronated foot subjects during the stance phase of gait
Background: Due to the rotatory nature of the excessive subtalar pronation and the possible impairment of the tibial rotation-knee flexion mechanism, changes of the free moment (FM) and changes of the extensor mechanism force are expected in hyper-pronated foot subjects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between the FM applied on the lower extremity and the knee extensor mechanism force in subjects with flexible pronated feet.
Methods: Fifteen asymptomatic female subjects (21.32±1.66 y, 56.30±6.08 kg, 159±6.3 cm) participated in the study. Excessive subtalar pronation was determined by measuring the resting calcaneal stance position (RCSP) in the frontal plane during weight bearing. A neutrally aligned foot was defined as having an RCSP between 2° of inversion and 2° of eversion. On the other hand, a flat foot had an RCSP of more than or equal to 4° of eversion. Both kinetic and kinematic data were collected using a six-camera motion analysis system and a single force plate. Three successful barefoot walking trials were recorded at self-selected speeds. The extensor mechanism force and the adductory component of the free moment (ADD FM) were calculated. The correlation between the ADD FM and the knee extensor mechanism force was examined using the Pearson correlation test.
Results: The Pearson correlation analysis showed a high positive correlation between the ADD FM and the extensor mechanism force (r=0.917, P<0.001).
Conclusion: Excessive subtalar pronation, along with a possible impairment of the tibial rotation-knee flexion mechanism, may affect the extensor mechanism force at the knee joint.
From a clinical perspective, the possible biomechanical linkage between the knee and the foot complex in the physical examination and treatment of patients should be considered.
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