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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 Jan;64(1):38-45. doi: 10.1002/acr.20597.

Association of lower muscle strength with self-reported knee instability in osteoarthritis of the knee: results from the Amsterdam Osteoarthritis cohort.

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  • 1Reade, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To determine whether muscle strength, proprioceptive accuracy, and laxity are associated with self-reported knee instability in a large cohort of knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients, and to investigate whether muscle strength may compensate for impairment in proprioceptive accuracy or laxity, in order to maintain knee stability.


Data from 283 knee OA patients from the Amsterdam Osteoarthritis cohort were used. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association between muscle strength, proprioceptive accuracy (motion sense), frontal plane varus-valgus laxity, and self-reported knee instability. Additionally, effect modification between muscle strength and proprioceptive accuracy and between muscle strength and laxity was determined.


Self-reported knee instability was present in 67% of the knee OA patients and mainly occurred during walking. Lower muscle strength was significantly associated with the presence of self-reported knee instability, even after adjusting for relevant confounding. Impaired proprioceptive accuracy and high laxity were not associated with self-reported knee instability. No effect modification between muscle strength and proprioceptive accuracy or laxity was found.


Lower muscle strength is strongly associated with self-reported knee instability in knee OA patients, while impairments in proprioceptive accuracy and laxity are not. A compensatory role of muscle strength for impaired proprioceptive accuracy or high laxity, in order to stabilize the knee, could not be demonstrated.

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