During the last decade, there has been a growing body of literature suggesting that proximal factors may play a contributory role with respect to knee injuries. A review of the biomechanical and clinical studies in this area indicated that impaired muscular control of the hip, pelvis, and trunk can affect tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joint kinematics and kinetics in multiple planes. In particular, there is evidence that motion impairments at the hip may underlie injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament tears, iliotibial band syndrome, and patellofemoral joint pain. In addition, the literature suggests that females may be more disposed to proximal influences than males. Based on the evidence presented as part of this clinical commentary, it can be argued that interventions which address proximal impairments may be beneficial for patients who present with various knee conditions. More specifically, a biomechanical argument can be made for the incorporation of pelvis and trunk stability, as well as dynamic hip joint control, into the design of knee rehabilitation programs.
Level of evidence: Aetiology/therapy, level 5.