Proprioceptive sensibility in women with normal and osteoarthritic knee joints
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The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of degenerative joint change on the proprioceptive acuity of women with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Middle-aged women with OA of the knee, age-matched healthy women, and younger healthy women were studied. Tests examined the ability of subjects to correctly reproduce knee angles in weightbearing and non-weightbearing situations. The knee angles were photographed and measured in degrees. The absolute error (AE) of each matching test was calculated and the mean AE of two tests was used as the criterion variable in a three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The relationship between the reproduction error and the osteoarthritic subjects' self-paced walking speed was also examined. Under both test conditions the AE of the osteoarthritic subjects was greater than that of the healthy subjects (p < .05). There was, however, no significant relationship between the AE measurements of the patients and their walking speed. These data indicate that while women with OA may have poorer proprioception than healthy controls, this impairment may not affect their walking ability.
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