How proprioception changes before and after total knee arthroplasty: A systematic review

Laura Bragonzoni, Erika Rovini, Giuseppe Barone, Filippo Cavallo, Stefano Zaffagnini, Maria Grazia Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Proprioception is one of the most significant factors in balance, joint stability, graceful movement, coordination, and injury prevention. It involves a wide set of receptors located within joints, muscles, and tendons. Given the neurophysiological processes involved in proprioception response are multiple and complex, there is not one single method to measure it. Particularly, proprioception of the knee joint, whether it is healthy, affected by osteoarthritis, or after replacement, is the most investigated by in literature.

RESEARCH QUESTION: This review addresses the analysis of proprioception in the knee joint before and after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The aim is to obtain an overview of the proprioceptive skills in subjects who suffered from osteoarthritis and were subjected to knee replacement, evaluating changes in proprioception before and after the surgery.

METHODS: The research was conducted within four databases: Web of Science®, PubMed Central®, Cochrane®, and PEDro®, between January 2008 and February 2018. Accurate exclusion criteria and selection strategy were applied to screen the 170 articles found.

RESULTS: Ultimately, 13 papers were fully evaluated and included in this review, divided into two classes: i) works directly measuring proprioception, ii) studies indirectly evaluating proprioception. Contrasting results emerged from the analysis, and no consensus was found in the literature about the improvement or worsening in proprioception before and after TKA.

SIGNIFICANCE: Since currently there is high variability in methods, protocol and parameters used to evaluate knee proprioception, further investigations based on a consistent dataset, a well-defined protocol, measurable outcomes, timeline follow-ups, and rehabilitation programs should be performed in order to obtain reliable results on the effects of TKA on knee proprioception and balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGait and Posture
Early online dateMay 17 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Balance
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Postural sway
  • Proprioception
  • Total knee arthroplasty

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