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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to monitor selected aspects of the three-dimensional kinematics of the knee during walking with regular shoes and with modified shoes that induced either pronation or supination of the foot. Steinmann traction pins were inserted into the right tibia and femur of five adult men who had apparently normal lower extremities. Target clusters mounted onto the pins were filmed by four cine cameras operating at 100 frames/sec. Two trials per subject were analyzed for each of the three experimental conditions: regular running shoes, running shoes with a 10° valgus wedge, and running shoes with a 10° varus wedge. The different types of footwear induced only minor kinematic changes at the knee during the stance phase of walking. The angular patterns of the tibiofemoral joint were modified by less than 1°, whereas the translatory patterns were altered by 2 mm. Immediately following foot-strike, the valgus-wedge shoes caused the tibia to rotate internally 4° more than the varus-wedge shoes, but at the tibiofemoral joint no consistent differences in the pattern of internal-external rotation between normal and modified footwear were measurable. These findings suggest that, in the healthy lower extremity, increased internal and external tibial rotation is resolved at the hip joint, with changes at the tibiofemoral joint that barely are detectable with the techniques used in this study.