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Association of sensorimotor function with knee joint kinematics during locomotion in knee osteoarthritis.

Am J Phys Med Rehabil.  2004; 83(6):455-63; quiz 464-6, 491 (ISSN: 0894-9115)

Bennell KL ; Hinman RS ; Metcalf BR
Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, School of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between quadriceps sensorimotor function (knee joint-position sense, quadriceps strength, and quadriceps onset of activity) and knee joint kinematics (knee flexion at initial contact and loading) during level walking and stair descent in a large cohort of 220 people with knee osteoarthritis. DESIGN: Cross-sectional correlational study. RESULTS: Joint-position sense correlated with knee flexion at initial contact during both tasks (r = -0.20 and -0.14, P <0.05). Strength correlated with peak loading response knee flexion during both tasks (r = 0.17 and 0.20, P < 0.05). Quadriceps onset correlated with knee flexion at initial contact during stair descent (r = 0.14, P < 0.05). Furthermore, differences in kinematic variables were observed when participants were divided into those with best and worst sensorimotor function. CONCLUSION: Impaired sensorimotor function as measured in this study is not strongly associated with altered knee joint kinematics observed in knee osteoarthritis patients during locomotion.