March 2016

Clinically useful 2D measurements predict patellofemoral joint force

In the moment: Running

By P.K. Daniel

Researchers from East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, NC, have identified 2D lower extremity kinematic measurements that accurately predict patellofemoral joint (PFJ) force during running and can be used clinically to identify runners at risk of injury.

The two-phase study involved recreational athletes aged between 18 and 35 years. The researchers first performed 3D motion analysis on 56 athletes and identified three variables that predicted mean PFJ impulse during the stance phase of running: knee angle at midstance, step length, and vertical excursion of the center of mass.

The investigators then performed both 2D and 3D kinematic analyses in 34 athletes, and found that using clinically feasible 2D methods (a video camera and free video analysis software) to assess the three predictive variables from the first phase of the study accounted for 70% of the variability in PFJ impulse.

Jennifer M. Warren, a physical therapy doctoral student at ECU, presented the findings at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in February in Anaheim.


Warren JM, Sanii AR, Huf MD, et al. Clinical prediction of patellofemoral joint contact force during running. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2016;46(1):A55.

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