The aims of the present study were to examine differences in three dimensional ground reaction forces (GRF) during running at preferred speed in boys with genu varus compared to age-matched healthy controls.
The authors hypothesized that the vertical and mediolateral GRF during running is higher in children with genu varus compared to their healthy peers.
Thirty-six boys aged 9–14 were enrolled in this study. Participants were divided in two groups (genu varus and healthy controls).
Three-dimensional running analysis was performed using a Vicon MX system consisting of six T-series cameras.
Markers were directly attached to the skin of the following anatomical landmarks: bilateral anterior and posterior superior iliac spines; bilateral lateral femoral epicondyles; bilateral lateral malleoli; bilateral calcaneus; lateral side of the thighs and shanks, and top of the feet at the base of the second metatarsal.
At least five practice trials were performed to ensure subjects were able to strike the force plate without consciously changing their running cadence.
Afterwards, each participant, identified with heel strike pattern during running, performed five acceptable shod running trials at preferred and comfortable speed.
The most important findings of this study were that individuals, with knee genu varus produced significantly higher bodyweight, adjusted GRF values in the lateral direction of the dominant limb compared to controls.
On the non-dominant limb, genu varus patients showed significantly higher bodyweight adjusted GRF values in the lateral and medial directions.
Genu varus patients demonstrated greater bodyweight adjusted loading rates in the dominant and non-dominant leg, respectively.
Based on the findings, the authors concluded that various invasive or non-invasive treatment strategies such as surgery, orthoses, or balance and strength training protocols should be considered to prevent joint degeneration in these young individuals.
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