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Joint position sense
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Clinical notes and interpretation
  • Joint position sense is an interoceptive sense that provides the status of the body internally.
  • Clinical findings are graded as absent, impaired, or intact with a varying reproduction within an average of 4° to 7° (Kaplan, F.S., et al., Acta Orthop Scand, 1985. 56(1): 72-4).
  • It is important to make sure that the health care practitioner positions the extremity using only the lateral surfaces of the limb segment being moved.
  • Special consideration should be applied to patients with muscle tone issues, such as positioning a limb to avoid synergistic movements.
  • An inner ear infection may affect a patient’s sense of proprioception.
  • An individual with a loss of joint position sense is at greater risk for loss of balance and falls. 
  • An individual with a loss of joint position sense will exhibit decreased coordination.
  • Joint position sense is necessary to maintain appropriate postural control during functional activities, such as sitting, transfers, standing, and walking.
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Section: Joint position sense
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