The effect of a patellar strap on knee joint proprioception in healthy participants and athletes with patellar tendinopathy

Astrid J. de Vries*, Inge van den Akker-Scheek, Ron L. Diercks, Johannes Zwerver, Henk van der Worp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Objectives: The primary aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the use of a patellar strap on knee joint proprioception in both healthy participants and in patients with patellar tendinopathy (PT). Secondary aims are to examine whether there is a difference in effectiveness of the use of a patellar strap between participants with low and high proprioceptive acuity and if possible predictors of effectiveness can be determined.

Design: Case-control.

Methods: The threshold to detect passive motion with and without a patellar strap was assessed in 22 healthy participants and 21 unilateral PT patients.

Results: The results from the mixed model analysis show that in both groups of participants a small but statistically significant improvement in proprioception was found, primarily in those who had low proprioceptive acuity. A notable finding was that in the symptomatic leg of the PT group no improvement in proprioception by wearing a strap could be determined. Male gender and having fewer symptoms were possible predictors of effectiveness in PT patients.

Conclusions: As proprioception plays a role in optimising movements and reducing load to joint-related structures like tendons and ligaments, it is considered an important protection mechanism. Although the improvements in proprioception as a result of wearing the strap are small, it might be that the use of a patellar strap can potentially play a role in injury prevention since poor proprioception can be a risk factor for (re)-injury. (C) 2015 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-282
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2016

Keywords

  • Position sense
  • Jumper's knee
  • Orthosis
  • Injury
  • TRAINING-PROGRAM
  • INJURIES
  • DEFICITS
  • BANDAGES
  • PAIN

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