To determine the extent to which select lower extremity alignment characteristics of the pelvis, hip, knee, and foot are related to the Q angle.
Descriptive cohort study design.
Applied Neuromechanics Research Laboratory.
Two hundred eighteen participants (102 males, 116 females).
Eight clinical measures of static alignment of the left lower extremity were measured by a single examiner to determine the impact of lower extremity alignment on the magnitude of Q angle.
Q angle, pelvic angle, hip anteversion, tibiofemoral angle, genu recurvatum, tibial torsion, navicular drop, and femur and tibia length.
Once all alignment variables were accounted for, greater tibiofemoral angle and femoral anteversion were significant predictors of greater Q angle in both males and females. Pelvic angle, genu recurvatum, tibial torsion, navicular drop, and femur to tibia length ratio were not significant independent predictors of Q angle in males or females.
Greater femoral anteversion and tibiofemoral angle result in greater Q angle, with changes in tibiofemoral angle having a substantially greater impact on the magnitude of the Q angle compared with femoral anteversion. As such, the Q angle seems to largely represent a frontal plane alignment measure. As many knee injuries seem to result from a combination of both frontal and transverse plane motions and forces, this may in part explain why Q angle has been found to be a poor independent predictor of lower extremity injury risk.
From the *Applied Neuromechanics Research Laboratory, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina; †Department of Athletic Training and Physical Therapy, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida; and ‡Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Submitted for publication October 8, 2008; accepted February 19, 2009.
Funded in part by NIH-NIAMS # R01 AR053172.
The authors state that they have no financial interest in the products mentioned within this article.
Reprints: Anh-Dung Nguyen, PhD, ATC, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 237 HHP Bldg, 1408 Walker Ave, Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).