Upper extremity proprioception in idiopathic scoliosis

S. D. Cook, A. F. Harding, S. W. Burke, T. S. Whitecloud, R. L. Barrack, T. M. Leinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Twenty-three patients with idiopathic scoliosis were tested for upper extremity proprioceptive function. All subjects had documented progression of deformity, with an average curvature of 34° . The average ages for scoliotics and 18 control subjects were 16.1 and 20.8 years, respectively. Controls had no spinal deformity and underwent identical test procedures. The test results showed that scoliotic subjects had significant asymmetry between right and left limbs in their threshold for detection of joint motion (p ≤ 0.005) and in their ability to reproduce angles to which their elbow joint had been previously positioned (p ≤ 0.025). Slight asymmetry also was observed in the reproduction tests of the control group (p ≤ 0.013); however, there was no significant asymmetry seen in this group for the threshold test. Performance of bilateral limbs was designated good and bad for both groups; the limb that performed better in proprioceptive function was designated good limb. Analysis of data showed that the scoliotics' good and bad limbs performed inferiorly in both threshold and angle reproduction tests when compared with normal controls. The results of this study imply, but do not localize, a neurologic deficit in scoliotic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
VolumeNo. 213
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986


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