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Detailed analysis of proprioception in normal and ACL-deficient knees

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We assessed proprioception using threshold levels for the perception of knee movement at slow angular velocities (0.1°/s to 0.85°/s) in 20 patients with unilateral tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and 15 age-related control subjects. Failure to detect movement was also analysed.

The threshold levels of detection did not differ between the damaged and undamaged knees in the patients or between the patients and the control group. Failure to appreciate movement, however, was significantly greater in knees with ACL loss compared with the undamaged knees of patients and the control group.

Our findings show a proprioceptive deficit in the absence of the ACL. Measurements of threshold levels of detection of passive movement alone are not suitable for the evaluation of proprioceptive loss in ACL deficiency; assessment of failure to appreciate movement is essential.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr G. Pap.

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