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Logo of bmcmudisBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
 
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012; 13: 19.
Published online Feb 15, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2474-13-19
PMCID: PMC3306748
The associations between body and knee height measurements and knee joint structure in an asymptomatic cohort
Andrew J Teichtahl,1 Anita E Wluka,1,2 Boyd J Strauss,3,4 Yuanyuan Wang,1 Patricia Berry,1 Miranda Davies-Tuck,1 and Flavia M Cicuttinicorresponding author1,5
1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Vic 3004, Australia
2Baker Heart Research Institute, Commercial Road, Melbourne, Vic 3004, Australia
3Department of Medicine, and Nutrition & Dietetics, Southern Clinical School, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia
4Body Composition Laboratory, Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Unit, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, VIC, Australia
5Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Andrew J Teichtahl: ajt107/at/hotmail.com; Anita E Wluka: anita.wluka/at/monash.edu; Boyd J Strauss: b.strauss/at/unimelb.edu.au; Yuanyuan Wang: wangyyau/at/yahoo.com.au; Patricia Berry: patricia.berry/at/monash.edu; Miranda Davies-Tuck: miranda.davies-tuck/at/monash.edu; Flavia M Cicuttini: flavia.cicuttini/at/monash.edu
Received April 18, 2011; Accepted February 15, 2012.
Abstract
Background
It has been suggested that knee height is a determinant of knee joint load. Nonetheless, no study has directly examined the relationship between anthropometric measures of height and knee joint structures, such as cartilage.
Methods
89 asymptomatic community-based adults aged 25-62 with no diagnosed history of knee arthropathy were recruited. Anthropometric data (knee height and body height) were obtained by standard protocol, while tibial cartilage volume and defects, as well as bone area were determined from magnetic resonance imaging. Static knee alignment was measured from the joint radiograph.
Results
All anthropometric height measures were associated with increasing compartmental tibial bone area (p ≤ 0.05). Although knee height was associated with tibial cartilage volume (e.g. β = 27 mm3 95% CI 7- 48; p = 0.009 for the medial compartment), these relationship no longer remained significant when knee height as a percentage of body height was analysed. Knee height as a percentage of body height was associated with a reduced risk of medial tibial cartilage defects (odds ratio 0.6; 95% confidence interval 0.4 - 1.0; p = 0.05).
Conclusion
The association between increased anthropometric height measures and increased tibial bone area may reflect inherently larger bony structures. However the beneficial associations demonstrated with cartilage morphology suggest that an increased knee height may confer a beneficial biomechanical environment to the chondrocyte of asymptomatic adults.
Keywords: Knee height, Knee, Cartilage, Osteoarthritis
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