May 2015

Symptoms precede tibiofemoral radiographic changes by 2-3 years

In the moment: OA

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Incident radiographic knee OA is preceded by two to three years of prodromal symptoms, which may present an opportunity for intervention, according to research from Keele University in Staffordshire, UK.

The case-control study utilized data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), including 169 knees that were symptom-free on most days at the time of OAI enrollment but developed radio­graphic OA (ROA) within four years, and 1690 control knees that did not develop ROA within four years. ROA was defined by the combination of a definite osteophyte and joint space narrowing in the tibiofemoral compartment.

The researchers found that the incidence of ROA was preceded by a trajectory of increasing knee pain, stiffness, and difficulties with functional tasks that was estimated to have lasted 25 to 30 months before the appearance of ROA. Pain and difficulty performing activities associated with dynamic knee loading were associated with longer prodromal phases (eg, 39 months for pain on twisting/pivoting vs 25 months for pain on standing).

The findings were epublished in April by Osteoarthitis & Cartilage.


Case R, Thomas E, Clarke E, Peat G. Prodromal symptoms in knee osteoarthritis: a nested case-control study using data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2015 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.