Pathologies: Femoral Torsion

By on December 30, 2012


Femoral torsion is a curvature of the femur bone (the bone that connects from your hip to your knee). There are two types of femoral torsion: internal and external.

  • Internal torsion causes the thighs, knees and toes to point toward each other.  It develops at a very young age in hyperflexible children.  This condition often corrects itself and can be expedited by encouraging children to sit up straight.
  • External torsion (also called retrotorsion) causes the thighs, knees and toes to point away from one another.  This condition is rarer than internal femoral torsion.

Impact on dance technique:

There is some evidence to suggest that ballet dancers with a heavy training schedule before the age of 15 have an increased incidence of external femoral torsion.  This condition results in a greater passive range of motion at the hip joint, and facilitates the use of turnout.  Since the dancer has a greater passive range of motion than a typical individual, he/she is able to achieve the ideal turnout position with less muscular effort, lowering the potential for injury.  However, there must be a concerted effort on the part of the dancer to turn out the entire leg fully from the hip, knee, and ankle joints.


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