Vibratory perception threshold in young and middle-aged patients at high risk of knee osteoarthritis compared to controls




Vibratory perception threshold (VPT) is impaired in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). It is, however, not known if sensory deficits precede or follow as a consequence of OA. The aim of this study was to investigate VPT in 2 independent groups of patients with high risk of future OA (young anterior cruciate ligament [ACL]-injured patients and middle-aged meniscectomized patients) and compare them to age-matched controls.


VPT was assessed at the medial malleolus (MM) and medial femoral condyle (MFC) in 2 independent groups of patients and matched controls: ACL-injured patients (n = 39, mean ± SD age 24.0 ± 5.2 years, mean ± SD BMI 24.0 ± 2.9 kg/m2, mean ± SD time since injury 21.9 ± 21.6 months) and controls (n = 28, mean ± SD age 25.6 ± 4.4 years, mean ± SD BMI 23.6 ± 2.2 kg/m2), and meniscectomized patients (n = 22, mean ± SD age 49.6 ± 4.8 years, mean ± SD BMI 24.7 ± 2.7 kg/m2, mean ± SD time since surgery 49.6 ± 5.0 months) and controls (n = 25, mean ± SD age 49.4 ± 5.2 years, mean ± SD BMI 25.2 ± 4.9 kg/m2).


ACL-injured patients had a better VPT than controls at the MM (P = 0.030), which persisted after adjusting for age and sex (P = 0.034). At the MFC, there was a similar trend in favor of ACL injured patients (unadjusted P = 0.093, adjusted P = 0.122). No differences were seen in VPT at the MM between meniscectomized patients and controls, whereas there was a tendency for better VPT in meniscectomized patients at the MFC (unadjusted P = 0.085, adjusted P = 0.092).


Impaired vibratory sensation could not be confirmed in 2 independent groups of patients compared to age-matched controls, suggesting that impaired vibratory sense is not present in knee-injured patients at high risk or in the very early phase of knee OA.