News Release

Can excessive physical activity during adolescence lead to problems with leg alignment?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research used imaging tests to reveal that physical activity levels may impact adolescents' and young adults' leg alignment during development.

The study included 57 elite male soccer players compared with 34 male and 34 female controls aged 11-21 years. In magnetic resonance imaging tests, physical activity levels were associated with the development of abnormal leg alignment, which may represent a physiological adaptation to load where the shin bone meets the knee.

"Our study suggests that abnormal leg alignment, a risk factor for future injury and osteoarthritis, develops in early adolescence due to high activity levels," said corresponding author Scott Fernquest, DPhil, of the University of Oxford. "Modifying activity levels during this critical period of growth may prevent the development of abnormal leg alignment. We hope our findings lead to further research investigating this possibility."

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NOTE: The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout,

About the Journal

The Journal of Orthopaedic Research, a publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), is the forum for the rapid publication of high quality reports of new information on the full spectrum of orthopaedic research, including life sciences, engineering, translational, and clinical studies.

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