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Gait question

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by phil s, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Could anyone simply explain how the rotations of the femur and tibia aid forward progression during gait?

    Thanks in advance

  2. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Are you interested in motion in any particular plane (sagittal vs transverse)?
  3. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Hi Eric
    I'm studying the hip knee and ankle movements individually and just feel i'm missing how the transverse motions have evolved together to aid gait.
  4. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Most of the time transverse plane motions don't effect the placement of one foot in front of the other. There are extremes where it matters. There is a certain amount of transverse plane motion of the pelvis over the femur. The trailing thigh will internally rotate relative to the pelvis. When this range of motion is used up the body can't take a longer stride by rotating the pelvis farther. For most people there is plenty of motion and you would have to take a really long stride to use up all of the range of motion. This pelvis motion is relative to the femur. The transvese plane position of the femur relative to the ground can also change with pronation and supination of the STJ. So, if you internally rotate the femur, with STJ pronation, you decrease the total possible pelvis rotation relative to the ground. So, with pronation of the STJ you will limit the maximum stride length.

    If there is limited hip range of motion the maximum stride length will also be limited. There are some "compensations" that will also limit max stride length. For example, if someone is intoed, and they choose to get their foot to function straight ahead by externally rotating their femur relative to their hip, they will "use up" some of their available range of motion and this will limit the available stride length. Again, most people don't bump up against those extremes.

  5. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Thanks Eric. That's brought the elements together for me.
  6. I discuss some of the transverse plane function of the foot and lower extremity in this video on abductory twist.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  7. Dananberg

    Dananberg Active Member


    The ability of the limbs to internally and externally rotate are a requirement of bipedal gait. As the contralateral limb is in swing phase, the ipsilateral limb must externally rotate so that it matches with the motions of the pelvis influenced by the swing limb.

    When the foot is pronated (for whatever the reason), there is an internally directed tibial rotation. If this occurs in the 2nd half of single support, then there must be some type of counterrotation taking place, usually at the level of the knee. These two rotations, external from above and internal from below can raise havoc with the knee joint. Changes in foot function to allow for resupination at the time when external rotation is occuring from above can often resolve many problems associated with knee overuse.


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