Proprioceptive acuity in the frontal and sagittal planes of the knee: A preliminary study

Martha L. Cammarata*, Yasin Y. Dhaher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Though the knee experiences three-dimensional loading during everyday tasks, assessment of proprioceptive acuity has typically been limited to the primary direction of movement, knee flexion and extension. While loading in the constrained directions (varus/valgus and internal/external rotation) may contribute to injury and joint disease, little information is available regarding proprioceptive acuity in these planes of movement. The primary aim of this study was to characterize proprioceptive acuity in the frontal plane (varus/valgus) and to compare it with sagittal plane (flexion/ extension) proprioceptive acuity in healthy subjects. Proprioception was assessed in 17 young, healthy subjects (11 females, 6 males, ages 21-33 years) using the threshold to detection of passive movement (TDPM). TDPM was found to be significantly (P < 0.001) lower in the frontal plane [valgus: mean (SD) 0.60 (0.20)° and varus: 0.58 (0.23)°] compared with the sagittal plane [extension: 0.78 (0.34)°, flexion: 0.82 (0.48)°]; however, no significant differences were noted within the same plane of movement. Results from this preliminary study may suggest more accurate proprioceptive acuity in the frontal plane compared with the sagittal plane. While further examination is necessary to confirm this relationship, more accurate frontal plane acuity may reflect a protective neural mechanism which enables more precise neuromuscular control of the joint in this constrained plane of movement

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1320
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Frontal plane
  • Knee
  • Propriocepion
  • Sagittal plane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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