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Proprioception of ankle and knee joints in obese boys and nonobese boys

Lin Wang, Jing Xian Li, Dong Qing Xu, You Lian Hong

Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(3): CR129-135

ID: 836578

Background: The objective of this study was to examine if there was any difference in the proprioception of the ankle and knee joints between pre-pubertal obese boys and non-obese boys.
Material and Method: A cross-sectional experimental design was used in the study between two groups. Within the group, repetitions were performed to verify the differences in several passive motion senses in the ankle or knee. A total of 53 boys aged 7 to 12 served as the study subjects. Among them, there were 27 obese boys with an average body mass index (BMI) of 25.14+/-3.51 kg/m2 and 26 non-obese boys with BMI of 16.28+/-1.45 kg/m2. The study used custom-made apparatus to test any proprioception that was indicated by a kinaesthesis of the ankle and knee.
Results: The obese boys showed significantly poorer proprioception in knee flexion movement (P=0.041). However, they showed none in the knee extension and ankle movements.
Conclusions: The obese boys showed a deficit in proprioception in knee flexion. Such alterations in their proprioception would be associated with decreased postural control capacity in obese boys as reported in published works since proprioceptive function is one important component that contributes to postural control.

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