Effect of ski boot settings on tibio-femoral abduction and rotation during standing and simulated skiing

J Biomech. 2008;41(3):498-505. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2007.10.019. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Abstract

Ski boots are designed to transfer high forces from the skier to the ski. For this purpose they are made of stiff materials and constrain the leg of the skier to an unnatural position. To overcome the problem of unnatural knee posture, the ski boots can be adjusted in the frontal plane as well as in the horizontal plane by the canting mechanism and the "v-position", respectively. Canting enables lateral and medial orientation of the shaft with respect to the base of the boot. The "v-position" is a pronounced outward rotation of the boot's base with respect to the ski's long axis. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of different foot rotations and ski boot canting settings on knee kinematics during standing and simulated skiing. Knee kinematics was measured by means of motion analysis and with the help of skin-mounted markers on 20 subjects. The ski boots in their standard settings significantly constrained the skier to an unnatural valgus position. Ski boot base rotation had a significant effect on internal external knee rotation, whereas canting had an effect on varus-valgus angles during standing. However, for the simulated skiing position no effects were observed. The study suggests that the constraints of the ski boots result in a clinically relevant valgus misalignment. Canting settings reduced the misalignment but only by about 10%. Increased ski boot canting settings would therefore be desirable. Knee kinematics showed that rotational misalignment could not be linked to any significant increase in injury risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Femur*
  • Humans
  • Knee*
  • Male
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Rotation
  • Skiing*
  • Tibia*