November 2015

Cartilage thickness study suggests role of kinetics changes with OA severity

In the moment: OA

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Although knee adduction moment (KAM) plays a significant role in patients with severe knee osteoarthritis (OA), knee flexion moment (KFM) may be more important early in the disease process, according to research from Stanford University in California.

In 70 patients with medial compartment knee OA, investigators determined knee moments using gait analysis and knee cartilage thickness using magnetic resonance imaging. They then performed multiple linear regression analyses to identify associations among knee moments, cartilage thickness, and knee OA severity.

Medial cartilage thickness and medial-to-lateral cartilage thickness ratio were significantly associated with KAM for specific knee regions, but only in patients with severe knee OA. KFM was significantly associated with cartilage thickness for specific tibial plateau regions, but only in patients with less severe disease.

The findings, epublished in October by the Journal of Biomechanics, suggest that KFM may be important early in the development of knee OA, but that KAM plays a greater role as pain increases. The authors recommended that both kinetic variables be considered in patients with knee OA.


Erhart-Hledik JC, Favre J, Andriacchi TP. New insight in the relationship between regional patterns of knee cartilage thickness, osteoarthritis disease severity, and gait mechanics. J Biomech 2015 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]

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