Is There A Better Predictor for Knee Osteoarthritis?

knee osteoarthritis

A simple physical exam may help identify patients at risk for worsening knee osteoarthritis, based on the results of a recent study lead by Yuanyuan Wang, MD, PhD and her colleagues.  They examined 4,353 participants of the Osteoarthritis Initiative in order to determine if joint line tenderness and patellofemoral grind were associated with “cartilage volume loss, worsening of radiographic osteoarthritis, and risk of total knee replacement.”  

Measuring both joint line tenderness and patellofemoral grind can be done in a non-invasive, easy to perform physical exam.  Therefore, this may be an easier way to predict patients that are at a higher risk of needing knee replacement surgery down the line.  By knowing who is at greater risk for cartilage volume loss, it can help both patients and physicians with developing preventative treatment protocols. They noted: “Those who are aware that they are at higher risk of disease progression may be more likely to have better compliance to conservative treatment since some of the most effective therapies such as exercise and weight management require significant patient participation.”

The results of this research showed that “patellofemoral grind, but not joint line tenderness, may represent a clinical marker associated with accelerated cartilage volume loss over 4 years and increased risk of total knee replacement over 6 years.”  Read the full article here.