Assessment of the impact of proprioceptive exercises on balance and proprioception in patients with advanced knee osteoarthritis
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Impaired proprioceptive perception and the balance function are known to associate with knee osteoarthritis. The previous publications have reported the beneficial effects of proprioceptive exercises on mild or moderate knee osteoarthritis. Scientific data in the literature regarding their effects in advanced stages of knee osteoarthritis are lacking. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of the proprioceptive exercises on balance, proprioceptive perception and clinical findings in advanced-stage knee osteoarthritis. Fifty-four patients diagnosed as having knee osteoarthritis according to the American Collage of Rheumatology criteria with grade of 3 or higher according to the Kellgren–Lawrence scale were enrolled in the study. Patients were allocated randomly into two groups. The study group included 30 patients, and the control group included 24 patients. The proprioceptive perception was assessed by the ability to reproduce the knee position. The balance function was assessed by stabilometric evaluation in static and dynamic patterns. The clinical evaluation was made by using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Patients were reevaluated after the three-week proprioceptive rehabilitation program. The improvement in the scores of static balance was significant statistically. No significant improvement in the dynamic balance scores was obtained. Although the measurements of proprioceptive perception showed a tendency toward improvement, the difference was not significant statistically. The WOMAC scores showed better improvements in the study group. As conclusion, in further stages of knee osteoarthritis, proprioceptive exercises have beneficial effects on static balance and to some extent on proprioceptive accuracy. In the treatment for advanced knee osteoarthritis, adding exercises specifically targeting the proprioceptive and balance dysfunction might be useful.
KeywordsBalance Gonarthrosis Knee osteoarthritis Proprioception Stabilometry
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