Malalignment Syndrome

Malalignment syndrome is an umbrella term used to describe an asymmetrical alignment of the trunk, pelvis, and extremities. This malalignment causes pain in the knees, legs, hips, and lower back, and movement may be hindered.

The tibia (leg bone) twists outwards, and the femur (thigh bone) twists inwards. The (patella) kneecap also twists inwards to form a ‘winking patella’. The feet are usually flat. This combination of malalignments puts excessive strain on the knee and lower back, and increases the risk of developing arthritis and patellar joint dislocation.

Foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and a stiff big toe are exacerbated by this condition due to the stress placed on the structures in the foot.

Malalignment syndrome most commonly affects runners, cyclists, footballers, and rugby players; however, it is not limited to these athletes.

Lower limb alignment

Malalignment Syndrome by Dr Mark Reyneker at Family Podiatry Centre

















Signs and Symptoms

  • Feet collapsing inwards
  • Pain during running, walking up and down stairs, or sitting with knees bent for long periods
  • Pain in front of the knee
  • Stiffness or instability of the knee joint
  • Knee feels like it’s grating, cracking, or popping
  • Lower back pain

Latest Research Links:

Patellar malalignment treated with modified knee extension training: An electromyography study

The effects of biomechanical foot orthoses on the gait patterns of patients with malalignment syndrome as determined by three dimensional gait analysis

Kardem Kiter

Article by Kardem Kiter, Specialist Podiatrist at Family Podiatry Centre.

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