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  • Author: Natalia Romero-Franco x
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Natalia Romero-Franco, Juan Antonio Montaño-Munuera and Pedro Jiménez-Reyes

Context: Knee joint-position sense (JPS) is a key parameter for optimum performance in many sports but is frequently negatively affected by injuries and/or fatigue during training sessions. Although evaluation of JPS may provide key information to reduce the risk of injury, it often requires expensive and/or complex tools that make monitoring proprioceptive deterioration difficult. Objective: To analyze the validity and reliability of a digital inclinometer to measure knee JPS in a closed kinetic chain (CKC). Design: The validity and intertester and intratester reliability of a digital inclinometer for measuring knee JPS were assessed. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: 10 athletes (5 men and 5 women; 26.2 ± 1.3 y, 71.7 ± 12.4 kg; 1.75 ± 0.09 m; 23.5 ± 3.9 kg/m2). Intervention: Knee JPS was measured in a CKC. Main Outcome Measures: Absolute angular error (AAE) of knee JPS in a CKC. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of the mean (SEM) were calculated to determine the validity and reliability of the inclinometer. Data showed that the inclinometer had a high level of validity compared with an isokinetic dynamometer (ICC = 1.0, SEM = 1.39, P < .001), and there was very good intra- and intertester reliability for reading the inclinometer (ICC = 1.0, SEM = 0.85, P < .001). Compared with AutoCAD video analysis, inclinometer validity was very high (ICC = 0.980, SEM = 3.46, P < .001) for measuring AAE during knee JPS in a CKC. In addition, the intertester reliability of the inclinometer for obtaining AAE was very high (ICC = .994, SEM = 1.67, P < .001). Conclusion: The inclinometer provides a valid and reliable method for assessing knee JPS in a CKC. Health and sports professionals could take advantage of this tool to monitor proprioceptive deterioration in athletes.

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Natalia Romero-Franco, Juan Antonio Montaño-Munuera, Juan Carlos Fernández-Domínguez and Pedro Jiménez-Reyes

Context: New methods are being validated to easily evaluate the knee joint position sense (JPS) due to its role in the sports movement and the risk of injury. However, no studies to date have considered the open kinetic chain (OKC) technique, despite the biomechanical differences compared with closed kinetic chain movements. Objective: To analyze the validity and reliability of a digital inclinometer to measure the knee JPS in the OKC movement. Design: The validity and intertester and intratester reliability of a digital inclinometer for measuring knee JPS were evaluated. Setting: Sports research laboratory. Participants: A total of 18 athletes (11 males and 7 females; 28.4 [6.6] y; 71.9 [14.0] kg; 1.77 [0.09] m; 22.8 [3.2] kg/m2) voluntary participated in this study. Main Outcomes Measures: Absolute angular error (AAE), relative angular error (RAE), and variable angular error (VAE) of knee JPS in an OKC. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of the mean (SEM) were calculated to determine the validity and reliability of the inclinometer. Data showed excellent validity of the inclinometer to obtain proprioceptive errors compared with the video analysis in JPS tasks (AAE: ICC = .981, SEM = 0.08; RAE: ICC = .974, SEM = 0.12; VAE: ICC = .973, SEM = 0.07). Intertester reliability was also excellent for all the proprioceptive errors (AAE: ICC = .967, SEM = 0.04; RAE: ICC = .974, SEM = 0.03; VAE: ICC = .939, SEM = 0.08). Similar results were obtained for intratester reliability (AAE: ICC = .861, SEM = 0.1; RAE: ICC = .894, SEM = 0.1; VAE: ICC = .700, SEM = 0.2). Conclusions: The digital inclinometer is a valid and reliable method to assess the knee JPS in OKC. Sport professionals may evaluate the knee JPS to monitor its deterioration during training or improvements throughout the rehabilitation process.