Collapsing Knee

    photo 2                                                     photo 3

                         photo 4                                                       photo 5

                                        photo 1

                               photo 6

Our subject's right lower leg has a slight outward rotation compared with her left leg (photo 1). This can predispose the knee to bowing inward. Furthermore notice she tends to shift more weight to her right leg, which can be seen in photo 1 and 2. There is more of her body that can be seem to the right side of the vertical line.

In photo 3 she has reached the lowest point of her landing during a series of vertical jumps. Her weight is still shifted to the right and you can see how much her right knee deviates inward.

Photo 5 provides the angles of the knees, 143.8 degrees for the right and 176.8 for the left.

Like the 10 year old volleyball player in the other knee case study, our subject is likely going to have some significant knee degeneration or knee injury in the future. Her medial collateral ligament (MCL), meniscus, and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) will be taking more punishment than a knee that maintains its' proper alignment.

Her program would consist of strengthening the right side hip muscles to help minimize the inward dive of the knee. We would also work on jump training technique so that she knows what a good jump performance looks like and how the legs should be positioned when landing.  I would include drills to help her learn to distribute her bodyweight more evenly over right and left foot.

She is also a subject in a prior case study (see back pain), where you can see a significant bodyweight shift to the right when squatting and that was coming from her tighter L ankle. It has been two years since I did that evaluation on her. She hasn't grown out of this pattern. The reason this pattern hasn't changed is because she has not be doing any corrective work to address these issues.

Without intervention and corrective exercise these patterns will not self correct, that is the big take home point for all you coaches and parents!