Individuals with post-traumatic osteoarthritis demonstrate increased sway during quiet stance. The prospective association between balance and disease onset is unknown. Improved understanding of balance in the period between joint injury and disease onset could inform secondary prevention strategies to prevent or delay the disease.
Participants included 50 individuals (ages 15–26 years) with a sport-related intra-articular knee injury sustained 3–10 years previously and 50 uninjured age-, sex- and sport-matched controls. Force-plate measures during single-limb stance (center-of-pressure 95% ellipse-area, path length, excursion, entropic half-life) and field-based balance scores (triple single-leg hop, star-excursion, unipedal dynamic balance) were collected.
On average the injured participants adjusted their position less frequently and demonstrated a larger magnitude of movement during single-limb stance compared to controls. These findings support the evaluation of balance outcomes in the period between knee injury and post-traumatic osteoarthritis onset.