Evaluation of unipodal stance in knee osteoarthritis patients using knee accelerations and center of pressure

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Mar;19(3):281-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.12.007. Epub 2010 Dec 22.


Objective: This study aims to compare knee joint instability and postural impairments during the performance of a unipodal stance task between patients having knee osteoarthritis (OA) and healthy elderly subjects using knee accelerations and center of pressure (COP) measurements.

Materials and methods: Twenty patients with medial knee OA and nine healthy individuals participated in this study. Three-dimensional (3D) knee joint accelerations and COP were measured during unipodal stance. The range and the root mean square (RMS) were extracted from medial lateral (ML) and anterior-posterior (AP) knee accelerations, whereas sway area, velocity, and ML and AP ranges were measured from the COP. The average parameters of three trials for each subject were compared between groups.

Results: Results show that knee OA patients exhibited a significantly higher range of knee acceleration in both ML (0.22±0.08 g vs 0.15±0.05 g) and AP (0.17±0.06 g vs 0.06±0.01 g) directions and a lower COP velocity (136.6±22.3 mm/s vs 157.6±18.4 mm/s) than did the healthy age-matched group. Significant correlations between the COP and knee acceleration parameters were also obtained.

Conclusions: This study confirmed that patients with knee OA displayed greater body sway than did able-bodied subjects. Moreover, using an accelerometric-based method, this study highlighted the higher knee joint instability in the frontal and sagittal planes in knee OA patients compared with able-bodied subjects during a unipodal standing task.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / etiology*
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology*
  • Postural Balance
  • Posture*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology