Position sense at the proximal interphalangeal joint is distorted in patients with rheumatoid arthritis of finger joints

Exp Physiol. 1992 Sep;77(5):675-80. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1992.sp003633.


The results of this investigation demonstrate, using a position matching paradigm, that the ability of subjects to detect changes in the position of the proximal interphalangeal joint is impaired in patients with rheumatoid arthritis affecting this joint. In this group there is a systematic flexion bias in position judgements compared to an age- and sex-matched control group. This bias becomes progressively more pronounced at more extended positions. These results suggest that chronic inflammatory joint disease significantly alters proprioceptive sensations at finger joints and this may be due to the loss or distortion of afferent feedback from mechanoreceptors innervating the affected joint.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Finger Joint / innervation
  • Finger Joint / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Proprioception / physiology*