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Relationship between fall history and toe grip strength in older adults with knee osteoarthritis in Japan: A cross-sectional study

PLoS One. 2023 Mar 13;18(3):e0282944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282944. eCollection 2023.


BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis (KOA), one of the most common musculoskeletal diseases in older adults, is associated with a high incidence of falls. Similarly, toe grip strength (TGS) is associated with a history of falls in older adults; however, the relationship between TGS and falls in older adults with KOA who are at risk of falling is not known. Therefore, this study aimed to determine if TGS is associated with a history of falls in older adults with KOA.

METHODS: The study participants, older adults with KOA scheduled to undergo unilateral total knee arthroplasty (TKA), were divided into two groups: non-fall (n = 256) and fall groups (n = 74). Descriptive data, fall-related assessments, modified Fall Efficacy Scale (mFES), radiographic data, pain, and physical function including TGS were evaluated. The assessment was conducted on the day before performing TKA. Mann-Whitney and chi-squared tests were performed to compare the two groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association of each outcome with the presence or absence of falls.

RESULTS: Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the fall group had statistically significantly lower height, TGS on the affected and unaffected sides, and mFES. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the incidence of fall history is associated with TGS on the affected side; the weaker the affected TGS of the KOA, the more likely the individual is to fall.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that TGS on the affected side is related to a history of falls in older adults with KOA. The significance of evaluating TGS among patients with KOA in routine clinical practice was demonstrated.

PMID:36913410 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0282944

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