Postural control and thigh muscle activity in men with knee osteoarthritis

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2010 Dec;20(6):1066-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2010.05.005. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


The aim of this study was to examine the standing balance and the function of vastus medialis (VM) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles with surface electromyography (EMG). Fifty-four subjects with uni- or bilateral knee osteoarthritis (OA) (aged 50-69 years) and 53 age-matched randomly selected clinically and radiologically healthy men participated in this study. Postural control was assessed on a force platform with a bipedal stance with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC) and a monopedal stance with EO. The balance parameters, mean sway velocity, velocity along AP and ML axes, elliptical area, standard deviation of center of pressure, average radial displacement, mean frequency and frequency domain balance parameters and different power spectral density frequency bands were determined. Root mean square (RMS) for EMG amplitude, mean EMG frequency (f(EMG,mean)) and median EMG frequency (f(EMG,med)) of motor unit activity were calculated from the normalized EMG data. During bipedal stance with EC and EO, there were no significant differences in balance parameters between groups, but during bipedal stance with EO, the RMS in VM was about 56% higher (p<0.05) in subjects with knee OA than in the control subjects and the values of f(EMG,mean) and f(EMG,med) were about 48% higher (p<0.05) in control subjects than subjects with knee OA. It is concluded that subjects with knee OA do not have any standing balance deficit, but they do exhibit increased muscle activity in VM muscle compared to control subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiopathology
  • Radiography
  • Random Allocation
  • Thigh