Footwear and knee injuries being studied

University of  Otago physiotherapy student  Charlotte Fyhr takes part in a lab  session to measure the stress on  her knees as part of a University  of Otago study into knee  injuries. Photo by Tim Miller
University of Otago physiotherapy student Charlotte Fyhr takes part in a lab session to measure the stress on her knees as part of a University of Otago study into knee injuries. Photo by Tim Miller
Knee injuries plague professional athletes and weekend battlers alike and a study by researchers at the University of Otago is looking at the reason behind all the weak knees.

Department of Physiotherapy lecturer Gisela Sole said knee injuries were very common in many sports, such as netball, football, and rugby.

Knee injuries often resulted in the sportsperson not being able to return to the same level of achievement and could increase the risk for knee arthritis later on, Dr Sole said.

Statistics from ACC show there were more than 4400 claims for knee injuries from playing sport in the Otago region from June, 2012 to June, 2013. These claims cost more than $5 million.

Dr Sole is leading a study which focuses on whether the type of footwear people wear has an affect on knee injuries.

''Past studies have focused mainly on issues such as muscle strength, balance and co-ordination, and exercise programmes . . . What has been overlooked in the past, is that footwear may also have an influence on the knee movements,'' she said.

Volunteers were needed to help with the study and the researchers were looking for females aged between 18 and 35 who take part in a land-based sport at least twice a week.

Woman had a higher risk of non-contact knee injuries than men, which was why the study would focus on them, she said.

As part of the study, volunteers will wear shoes with special inserts. Their movements will be followed by infrared cameras tracking markers placed on the subject.

The movement will show how the knee is affected when landing from a 20cm drop.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study can contact Dr Gisela Sole, by emailing gisela.sole@otago.ac.nz, or by phoning 479-7936.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter