Postural stability and proprioception abnormalities in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Luciana Labanca, Giuseppe Barone, Stefano Zaffagnini, Laura Bragonzoni, Maria Grazia Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) leads to the damage of all joint components, with consequent proprioceptive impairment leading to a decline in balance and an increase in the risk of falls. This study was aimed at assessing postural stability and proprioception in patients with knee OA, and the relation between the impairment in postural stability and proprioception with the severity of OA and functional performance. Thirty-eight patients with knee OA were recruited. OA severity was classified with the Kellgren-Lawrence score. Postural stability and proprioception were assessed in double- and single-limb stance, in open- and closed-eyes with an instrumented device. Functional performance was assessed using the Knee Score Society (KSS) and the Short Performance Physical Battery (SPPB). Relationships between variables were analyzed. Postural stability was reduced with respect to reference values in double-limb stance tests in all knee OA patients, while in single-stance only in females. Radiological OA severity, KSS-Functional score and SPPB were correlated with greater postural stability impairments in single-stance. Knee OA patients show decreased functional abilities and postural stability impairments. Proprioception seems to be impaired mostly in females. In conclusion, clinical management of patients with OA should include an ongoing assessment and training of proprioception and postural stability during rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1469
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2021


  • Age related diseases
  • Cartilage
  • Functional abilities
  • Functional performance
  • Knee
  • Risk of falls
  • Sensory receptors
  • Standing balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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