Comparing single and multi-joint methods to detect knee joint proprioception deficits post primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty

Abderrahman Ouattas, Elizabeth Wellsandt, Nathaniel H. Hunt, C. Kent Boese, Brian A. Knarr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Background: The use of various single-joint proprioception measurements has resulted in contradictory findings after knee arthroplasty. The use of balance as a surrogate measure to assess knee proprioception post-operation has resulted in further confusion. The aim of this study was to measure single joint knee proprioception in participants after unilateral knee arthroplasty, and compares it to multi-joint balance. Methods: Eleven participants at 1 year after unilateral total knee arthroplasty and twelve age-matched controls were enrolled. The threshold to detect passive motion and the sensory organization test were used to measure single joint knee proprioception and multi-joint balance respectively. Two-way ANOVA and independent t-tests were used to measure differences between and within groups. Regression analysis was used to measure the association between proprioception and balance measurements. Findings: Surgical knees demonstrated significantly more deficient proprioception compared to the non-surgical knees and both knees of the control groups during flexion (P < 0.01) and extension (P < 0.05). Non-surgical knees showed similar proprioception to both knees of the control group during flexion and extension. Within the knee arthroplasty group, only deficiencies during flexion showed significant correlation with Sensory Organization Test visual ratio. No additional differences between both groups during balance measurements, nor any correlations between local joint proprioception and balance were seen. Interpretation: These findings indicate deficient surgical knee proprioception in participants one year after unilateral total knee arthroplasty. Limited associations between measurements indicate that balance may be a poor measure of single-joint proprioception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Biomechanics
StatePublished - Aug 2019



  • Balance
  • Knee proprioception
  • Primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty
  • Risk of falls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this