Functional asymmetries of the lower limbs. A comparison between clinical assessment of laterality, isokinetic evaluation and electrogoniometric monitoring of knees during walking.

Gait & posture

PubMedID: 12443956

Maupas E, Paysant J, Datie AM, Martinet N, André JM. Functional asymmetries of the lower limbs. A comparison between clinical assessment of laterality, isokinetic evaluation and electrogoniometric monitoring of knees during walking. Gait Posture. 2002;16(3):304-12.
We used bilateral electrogoniometric gait monitoring of the knees to demonstrate the existence of an angular asymmetry between the two legs in healthy subjects. We also searched for correlations between this asymmetry and handedness, footedness and ocular laterality and isokinetic strength of the flexor-extensor muscles of the two knees. Among the 40 subjects studied, 25 (62.5%) showed an asymmetric maximal knee flexion: the difference being superior or equal to 5 degrees between the knees. There was no correlation between this asymmetry and the lateralities studied. We termed this type of asymmetry 'angular preponderance' to differentiate it from the laterality defined by clinical tests. Isokinetic strength of the knee flexors and extensors was correlated with the gender and speed, but not with side or laterality. Appropriate interpretation of lower limb examination should take into consideration angular gait asymmetry in the healthy subject.