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Proprioception was assessed after knee replacement to compare total (TKA) to unicompartmental (UKA) knee arthroplasty. Thirty-four patients were recruited; seventeen patients underwent TKA and seventeen patients underwent UKA. The patient's age was similar in both groups. Two measures of proprioception, joint position sense (JPS) and postural sway (PS) were measured. Function was assessed using the Oxford Knee Score (OKS). Measurements were taken pre-operatively and 6 months post-operatively on both the operated and contralateral leg. Pre-operatively, no differences in JPS or PS were found between groups or between limbs in either group. Post-operatively, both groups had significant improvement of JPS in the operated limb only (20% increase). The improvement in JPS was similar in both groups. PS also improved significantly in both groups although the improvement of PS in the UKA group was twice that for the TKA group. The OKS improved by a similar amount in both groups. Both UKA and TKA result in a significant improvement in proprioception. Dynamic aspects of proprioception improve more after UKA than TKA, which may explain, in part, why UKA patients have superior functional outcome to that of TKA patients.

Original publication




Journal article


The Knee

Publication Date





212 - 217


Oxford Orthopaedic Engineering Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK.


Knee Joint, Humans, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Longitudinal Studies, Prospective Studies, Proprioception, Posture, Aged, Female, Male