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Original articles  SPORT INJURIES AND REHABILITATION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2005 September;45(3):355-9

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Differences in lower extremity alignment between males and females. Potential predisposing factors for knee injury

Tillman M. D. 1, Bauer J. A. 2, Cauraugh J. H. 1, Trimble M. H. 3

1 Center for Exercise Science University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA 2 Exercise Science and Sport Studies State University of New York at Cortland, Cortland, NY, USA 3 Department of Physical Therapy University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA


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Aim. The ­goal of ­this ­study was to com­pare meas­ures of ­lower ­extremity align­ment ­between ­males and ­females, ­which may ­account for ­gender dif­fer­ences in ante­rior cru­ciate lig­a­ment ­injury ­rates. ­Static ­lower ­extremity align­ment has ­been impli­cated as pre­dis­posing indi­vid­uals to ante­rior cru­ciate lig­a­ment ­injury and may ­vary ­between ­males and ­females. An ­initial ­step in iden­ti­fying rel­e­vant ­risk fac­tors for ­injury is to deter­mine ­those fac­tors ­that ­vary ­between gen­ders.
­Methods. ­Thirty ­male and 27 ­female col­lege ­aged indi­vid­uals ­with no his­tory of ­lower ­extremity ­injury par­tic­i­pated. ­Three ­indices of ­lower ­extremity align­ment ­were meas­ured on ­each sub­ject: quad­ri­ceps ­angle, ­thigh ­foot ­angle, and sub­talar ­joint ­range of ­motion ­ratio.
­Results. Q-­angles in ­females ­exceeded ­values for ­males by 4.4° (p<0.001). ­Thigh ­foot ­angle for ­females was 3.6° ­greater ­than for ­males (p=0.020). Sub­talar ­joint move­ment ­ratio did not ­vary ­between gen­ders (p=0.573).
Con­clu­sion. Pre­vious ­research sug­gests ­that ­abnormal align­ment may pre­dis­pose indi­vid­uals to ante­rior cru­ciate lig­a­ment ­injury. The ­present find­ings may ­help to ­explain the dif­fer­ence in ante­rior cru­ciate lig­a­ment ­injury ­rates ­between ­males and ­females. Any tan­gible ­links ­between ­lower ­extremity align­ment and ante­rior cru­ciate lig­a­ment ­injury ­rates ­must be con­firmed ­with pros­pec­tive ­studies.

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