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Background: As aging occurs degenerative changes overcome the regeneration capacity of body and this becomes a cause of decreased motor control. Proprioception is a deep sensory faculty that helps in controlling activation of the dynamic restraints and motor control. Error in estimating Joint position sense (measured by angular repositioning at a predetermined angle) reflects the proprioceptive inaccuracy of the concerned joint. This can be such an error is present in all individuals but increases with threat to the joint integrity either due to trauma or aging. The purpose of the present study was to determine extent of proprioception deficits appreciable in degenerative joint disease of knees.
Method: Patients with knee OA previously diagnosed by the physician were included in study. Variables such as age, sex, height, body weight and Body mass index (BMI) were evaluated. Subjects were positioned in supine on a couch with knees in full extension and asked to move the test knee into a specific angle of flexion. The subject’s perception of the angular position was recorded and compared with the actual angle of flexion.
Result: There was a significant difference between the joint position senses of persons with OA as compared to normal individuals. Those with osteoarthritic knees showed greater error in position estimation at all angles (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: It is proposed that reduced proprioception in elderly and osteoarthritic subjects may be responsible for initiation and/or perpetuation of degeneration of the knee.