Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the proprioceptive function of patients with isolated articular cartilage lesions of the knee as compared to normal controls. Methods The Cartilage group consisted of eight subjects with radiologically and arthroscopically confirmed, isolated, unilateral, articular cartilage lesions of the knee (Outerbridge grade III or IV). They were compared to 50 normal controls. Knee proprioception was assessed by dynamic postural stabilometry using the Biodex Balance SD System. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were used to evaluate all subjects. Results Proprioception of the injured knee of the Cartilage group was significantly poorer compared to that of the control group (p < 0.001). A significant proprioceptive deficit also was observed when the uninjured knees of the Cartilage group were compared to those in the Control group (p = 0.003). There was no significant proprioceptive difference between the injured and the contra-lateral uninjured knee of the Cartilage group (p = 0.116). A significant correlation was found between the proprioception measurements of the injured and uninjured knee of the Cartilage group (r = 0.76, p = 0.030). A significant difference was observed in all PROMs (p < 0.001) between the Cartilage and Control groups. Conclusions Patients with isolated articular cartilage lesions of the knee had a significant proprioceptive deficit as compared to normal controls. The deficiency was profound and even affected the proprioceptive function of the contra-lateral uninjured knee. This study has shown that articular cartilage lesions have a major influence on knee proprioception. However, it remains uncertain as to whether a proprioceptive deficit leads to osteoarthritis or is a consequence of it.
- Norwich Medical School - Professor of Medical Statistics
- Epidemiology and Public Health - Member
- Health Services and Primary Care - Member
- Norwich Clinical Trials Unit - Member
- Public Health and Health Services Research - Member
Person: Research Group Member, Academic, Teaching & Research