Nature Publishing Group UK
Deteriorating knee stability is a local risk factor that reflects the occurrence and aggregative of osteoarthritis (OA). Despite the many biomechanics-based methods for assessing the structural stability of knee joints in clinics, these methods have many limitations. The stability of the knee joint relies on not only biomechanical factors, but also proprioception and the central nervous system. In this study, we attempt to depict the stability of knee joint from a holistic viewpoint, and a novel index of knee joint stability (IKJS) was thus extracted. We compared the differences of IKJS in 57 healthy volunteers and 55 patients with OA before and after total knee replacement (TKR). Analysis of Variance results demonstrated that there existed significant differences in IKJS among the three participating groups (<0.0001). Also, the IKJS of the operated leg in patients with knee OA increased remarkably after TKR (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, the results of the experiment suggested that the IKJS has sufficient reproducibility (ICC = 0.80). In conclusion, the proposed IKJS that employs the knee-aiming task is feasible for quantitatively determining knee stability. It can provide a potentially valuable and convenient tool to evaluate the effect of postoperative rehabilitation for patients with knee OA.