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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 June;43(2):156-64

language: English

Knock knee and the gait of six-year-old children

Pretkiewicz-Abacjew E.

Depart­ment of the Anthro­po­motor ­Basis of ­Health, Pos­ture Labor­a­tory, J. Sni­a­decki Uni­ver­sity ­School of Phys­ical Edu­ca­tion, Gda´nsk, ­Poland


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Aim. ­Knock ­knee (­genu ­valgum) inter­feres ­with the loco­mo­tive and sup­porting func­tion of the ­lower ­limb. In ­static con­di­tions the ­load-­bearing ­axis of the ­valgus ­limb is dis­placed lat­er­ally in rela­tion to the ­middle of the ­joint, ­causing the ­knee ­joint, the ­ankle ­joint, and the ­foot as a ­whole to be ­weighted in the ­wrong way. The pur­pose of ­this ­work is to ­examine the influ­ence of ­knock ­knee on ­gait kin­e­matics.
­Methods. The ­gait of twenty-two 6-­year-old chil­dren of ­both ­sexes in ­whom ­knock ­knee had ­been med­i­cally diag­nosed was com­pared ­with the ­gait of 33 chil­dren of the ­same age ­whose ­knee ­joints con­formed to the ­norm in for­ma­tion and posi­tion. ­Gait was ­recorded sep­ar­ately for the sag­ittal and the ­frontal ­planes, ­using a ­video-com­puter ­system.
­Results. The ­results of the exam­ina­tion indi­cated sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in the ­gait of the two ­groups of chil­dren. ­These dif­fer­ences ­related ­mainly to the ­time fea­tures of ­gait and to ­data on the ­angles in the ­knee and ­ankle ­joints. ­Although the ­results ­obtained for ­other fea­tures of ­gait did not ­reveal sta­tis­tical dif­fer­ences, ­these did indi­cate ­that the chil­dren ­with ­knock ­knee ­walked ­more ­slowly and ­with a ­lower ­cadence.
Con­clu­sion. The ­results indi­cate ­that ­knock ­knee in 6-­year-old chil­dren has an ­adverse ­impact on the ­mechanics of the ­lower ­limb ­joints in ­gait and ­causes a dete­ri­ora­tion in ­gait ­quality. ­Thus ­knock ­knee in chil­dren ­should not be ­treated ­merely as a super­fi­cial ­defect but ­should be sub­ject to ­therapy and, ­more impor­tantly, ­taken ­into ­account ­when intro­ducing chil­dren to ­early ­sports ­training.

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