Interlimb symmetry of dynamic knee joint stiffness and co-contraction is maintained in early stage knee osteoarthritis

A. T. Collins, R. T. Richardson, J. S. Higginson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Individuals with knee OA often exhibit greater co-contraction of antagonistic muscle groups surrounding the affected joint which may lead to increases in dynamic joint stiffness. These detrimental changes in the symptomatic limb may also exist in the contralateral limb, thus contributing to its risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study is to investigate the interlimb symmetry of dynamic knee joint stiffness and muscular co-contraction in knee osteoarthritis.Muscular co-contraction and dynamic knee joint stiffness were assessed in 17 subjects with mild to moderate unilateral medial compartment knee osteoarthritis and 17 healthy control subjects while walking at a controlled speed (1.0. m/s). Paired and independent t-tests determined whether significant differences exist between groups (. p<. 0.05).There were no significant differences in dynamic joint stiffness or co-contraction between the OA symptomatic and OA contralateral group (. p=. 0.247, p=. 0.874, respectively) or between the OA contralateral and healthy group (. p=. 0.635, p=. 0.078, respectively). There was no significant difference in stiffness between the OA symptomatic and healthy group (. p=. 0.600); however, there was a slight trend toward enhanced co-contraction in the symptomatic knees compared to the healthy group (. p=. 0.051).Subjects with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis maintain symmetric control strategies during gait.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-501
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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