Association between quadriceps tendon elasticity and neuromuscular control in individuals with knee osteoarthritis  

Diane Dickson, Stephanie Smith, Gordon Hendry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knee osteoarthritis is a complex condition with established risk factors such as female sex, increasing age and body mass index, reduced quadriceps muscle strength and knee injury. Despite known associated risks, the role and behaviour of knee tendons in knee osteoarthritis remains unclear. This study explores the association between quadriceps tendon elasticity, muscle strength, neuromuscular control, proprioception and patient reported outcome measures in individuals with knee osteoarthritis.
Adults with doctor-diagnosed knee osteoarthritis were recruited from rheumatology clinics and general practitioner practices. Quadriceps tendon elasticity was estimated using sonoelastography. Neuromuscular control data including electromyography, electromechanical delay and proprioception measures were included. Participants completed the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score. Associations between elasticity values, physical and neuromuscular data and patient reported outcomes scores were evaluated using Spearman's correlations.
Thirty-nine adults with knee osteoarthritis were eligible for inclusion. Increased tendon stiffness was negatively associated with rate of force development, time to half peak force and passive positioning sense in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Similarly, patient reported symptoms were found to be associated with sonoelastography findings with moderate-strong associations observed between activities of daily living sport and recreation, pain and symptoms and between neuromuscular control measures and muscle strength.
Stiffer tendon identified within the knee osteoarthritis group was associated with reduced neuromuscular control and knee joint proprioception. Stiffer quadriceps tendon may contribute to the poorer reported symptoms by knee osteoarthritis individuals. These findings may impact disease symptoms and progression which could lead to further joint impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106159
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Early online date11 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Knee
  • osteoarthritis
  • tendon
  • sonoelastography
  • neuromuscular control
  • quadriceps
  • Quadriceps
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sonoelastography
  • Neuromuscular control
  • Tendon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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