What is an external rotation of the leg?

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External rotation is the turning of the leg outward, or away from the body. External rotation occurs in the transverse plane and the movement occurs around a vertical axis. For example, if your foot is pointing straight forward and you turn your knee outward, away from the body, this motion is classified as external rotation.

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy

External rotation is rotating the anterior (in front of or forward) surface of a bone or joint away from the midline of the body; also referred to as lateral rotation. Externally rotating the leg involves turning the leg away from the body so the knee or foot faces outward.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.