Valgus knee stress in lumbosacral myelomeningocele: A gait-analysis evaluation

Richard Lim, Luciano Dias*, Stephen Vankoski, Carolyn Moore, Michael Marinello, John F Sarwark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Twenty-five independent community-ambulating patients with lumbosacral- level myelomeningocele (N = 50 limbs) underwent gait analysis. The limbs of these patients were divided into two groups based on thigh-foot angle (TFA): Group I (n = 20) had marked external tibial torsion, TFA ≤20°, and group II had TFA between 10 and 20°. Ten limbs were excluded because of neutral or internal alignment. Twenty normal limbs with TFA = 10°served as controls. An abnormal internal varus knee stress during stance was identified in all group I limbs and 12 (70%) of 20 limbs group II limbs compared with controls, which demonstrated an internal valgus stress. This internal varus moment was greater in group I limbs than in the abnormal limbs in group II (p < 0.05). Knee flexion was the only other parameter found to correlate with this stress and only in group I limbs. We conclude that (a) in this patient group, increased external tibial torsion is likely to result in an abnormal internal varus knee stress; (b) TFA >20°appears significantly to increase this stress; and (c) knee flexion is an important related parameter, but only in limbs with TFA between 10 and 20°. We believe that this abnormal stress may predispose the knee to late arthrosis and that derotational osteotomies to normalize the TFA may prove to have a favorable long-term effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 5 1998


  • Gait
  • Knee
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Valgus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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