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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1997 Jan;25(1):13-8.

Static and dynamic balance responses in persons with bilateral knee osteoarthritis.

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New Haven Orthopedic Surgeons, CT, USA.


Research has documented decreased strength and proprioception in people with arthritis. Both are components of balance, but reliable studies documenting balance deficits have not been done. This study tested standing balance in an adult population with osteoarthritis. The osteoarthritic group (N = 11) and the age-matched control group (N = 10) were tested on the Balance System. Each underwent two trials of six testing conditions [two visual conditions (eyes open, eyes closed) under each of three platform conditions (stable, angular rotation, and linear translation)] and completed a functional assessment scale. Individuals with knee osteoarthritis demonstrated significantly more postural sway than the control group across conditions (p < 0.02). The functional assessment scale developed to discriminate between the two groups demonstrated internal consistency (Cronbach's coefficient alpha = 0.83), and scores were significantly different between the two groups (p < 0.0001). Results suggest the importance of balance training in this population. The functional assessment scale may be a useful tool to document functional levels in knee osteoarthritis.

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