Knee pain is the commonest pain complaint amongst older adults in general practice. General Practitioners (GPs) may use x rays when managing knee pain, but little information exists regarding this process. Our objectives, therefore, were to describe the information GPs provide when ordering knee radiographs in older people, to assess the association between a clinical diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) and the presence of radiographic knee OA, and to investigate the clinical content of the corresponding radiologists' report.
A cross sectional study of GP requests for knee radiographs and their matched radiologists' reports from a local radiology department. Cases, aged over 40, were identified during an 11-week period. The clinical content of the GPs' requests and radiologists' reports was analysed. Associations of radiologists' reporting of i) osteoarthritis, ii) degenerative disease and iii) individual radiographic features of OA, with patient characteristics and clinical details on the GPs' requests, were assessed.
The study identified 136 cases with x ray requests from 79 GPs and 11 reporting radiologists. OA was identified clinically in 19 (14%) of the requests, and queried in another 31 (23%). The main clinical descriptor was pain in 119 cases (88%). Radiologists' reported OA in 22% of cases, and the features of OA were mentioned in 63%. Variation in reporting existed between radiologists. The commonest description was joint space narrowing in 52 reports (38%). There was an apparent although non significant increase in the reporting of knee OA when the GP had diagnosed or queried it (OR 1.95; 95% CI 0.76, 5.00).
The features of radiographic OA are commonly reported in those patients over 40 whom GPs send for x ray. If OA is clinically suspected, radiologists appear to be more likely to report its presence. Further research into alternative models of referral and reporting might identify a more appropriate imaging policy in knee disorders for primary care.
BACKGROUND: In Canada, primary care physicians manage most musculoskeletal problems. However, their training in this area is limited, and some aspects of management may be suboptimal. This study was conducted to examine primary care physicians' management of 3 common musculoskeletal problems, ascertain the determinants of management and compare management with that recommended by a current practice panel. METHODS: A stratified computer-generated random sample of 798 Ontario members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada received a self-administered questionnaire by mail. Respondents selected various items in the management of 3 hypothetical patients: a 77-year-old woman with a shoulder problem, a 64-year-old man with osteoarthritis of the knee and a 30-year-old man with an acutely hot, swollen knee. Scores reflecting the proportion of recommended investigations, interventions and referrals selected for each scenario were calculated and examined for their association with physician and practice characteristics and physician attitudes. RESULTS: The response rate was 68.3% (529/775 eligible physicians). For the shoulder problem, all of the recommended items were chosen by the majority of respondents. However, of the items not recommended, ordering blood tests was selected by almost half (242 [45.7%]) as was prescribing an NSAID (236 [44.7%]). For the knee osteoarthritis the majority of respondents chose the recommended items except exercise (selected by only 175 [33.1%]). Of the items not recommended, tests were chosen by about half of the respondents and inappropriate referrals (chiefly for orthopedic surgery) were chosen by a quarter. For the acutely hot knee, the majority of physicians chose all of the recommended items except use of ice or heat (selected by only 188 [35.6%]). Although most (415 [78.5%]) of the respondents selected the recommended joint aspiration for this scenario, 84 (15.9%) omitted this investigation or referral to a specialist. The selection of recommended items was strongly associated with training in musculoskeletal specialties during medical school and residency. INTERPRETATION: Primary care physicians' management of 3 common musculoskeletal problems was for the most part in accord with panel recommendations. However, the unnecessary use of diagnostic tests, inappropriate prescribing of NSAIDs, low use of patient-centred options such as exercise, and lack of diagnostic suspicion of infectious arthritis are cause for concern. The results point to the need for increased exposure to musculoskeletal problems during undergraduate and residency training and in continuing medical education.
Obesity is linked to knee osteoarthritis (OA) and knee pain. These are disabling problems that are more prevalent in older adults. No prospective study has estimated the impact of excess weight avoidance on the occurrence of knee pain in the general older population. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of overweight and obesity on the onset and progression of knee pain and disability in older adults living in the community.
A prospective cohort study of people aged 50 and over registered with three general practices in North Staffordshire, UK. 5784 people who had responded to a survey in March 2000 were mailed a follow-up questionnaire in March 2003. The main outcome measures were self-reported knee pain and severe knee pain and disability at 3 years measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index.
Adjusted response to follow-up was 75%. Among responders with no knee pain at baseline, obesity predicted onset of severe knee pain (relative risk 2.8; 95% CI 1.8, 4.5 compared to normal body mass index (BMI) category). Considering overweight and obese categories together, 19% of new cases of severe knee pain over a 3-year period could potentially be avoided by a one-category shift downwards in BMI; this includes almost half of the new cases that arose in the obese group.
Obesity accounts for a substantial proportion of severe disabling knee pain. As knee pain is a common disabling condition in older adults living in the community, effective public health interventions about avoidance of excess weight could have a major impact on future lower limb disability in older adults.
In longitudinal studies across a range of regional musculoskeletal pain syndromes, certain prognostic factors consistently emerge. They are “generic” in the sense that they appear to apply regardless of the particular anatomical site or underlying cause of the pain.
To investigate the value of generic indicators of poor functional outcome for knee pain and osteoarthritis in the community.
We conducted a population‐based cohort study of adults aged ⩾50 years with knee pain as part of the Clinical Assessment Study (Knee) (CAS(K)). At baseline, participants completed a postal questionnaire and attended a research clinic where they completed a further questionnaire and underwent structured physical examination and x rays. The 18‐month follow‐up was via a self‐completed questionnaire. Risk ratios were calculated using Cox regression with a fixed time period assigned to each participant.
In total, 60% of participants experienced a poor outcome at 18 months. Twelve univariate associations were associated with poor outcome, with four variables remaining in the multivariate model (older age, being overweight or obese, having possible or probable anxiety, and more severe pain).Using a simple unweighted additive risk score (1 point each for age ⩾60 years, body mass index ⩾25 kg/m2, possible or probable anxiety, Chronic Pain Grade II–IV), 90% of participants with all four generic indicators were correctly classified.
This study has demonstrated that generic prognostic indicators can be used to determine the prognosis of older people in the community with knee pain.
epidemiology; knee pain; prognosis; osteoarthritis
The extent and factors associated with knee pain fluctuation are not well-known. We evaluated the prevalence, correlates, and association with function of consistency of knee pain.
Participants of The Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study, a cohort of individuals with or at high risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA) had baseline knee x-rays, questionnaires, and a question about frequent knee pain (FKnP) (pain on most of the past 30 days) at two time points: a telephone screen and a later clinic visit. We computed the prevalence of inconsistent knee pain (positive answer to FKnP question at only one time point) and consistent knee pain (positive answer to FKnP question at both time points). We evaluated the association of consistency of FKnP with a number of sociodemographic factors, pain severity, and function.
There were 2940 participants with complete data (5867 knees) (mean age 62, mean BMI 30.7, 60% female). Of those, 2977 knees had pain, with 43% having inconsistent and 57% having consistent knee pain. Those with radiographic OA (OR 0.46), depressive symptoms (OR 0.73), and widespread pain (OR 0.68) (all p<0.05) were less likely to have inconsistent compared with consistent knee pain. Pain, function, and strength were significantly better in persons with 2 knees that had inconsistent compared with consistent pain.
A substantial proportion of persons with knee pain have inconsistent knee pain, associated with better physical function and strength (adjusting for pain severity). Such pain may be suggestive of an earlier stage of disease.
Osteoarthritis; Knee pain; Temporal pattern; function
Traditionally the management of any chronic condition starts with its diagnosis. The labelling of disease can be beneficial in terms of defining appropriate treatment such as in coronary artery disease. However, sometimes it may be detrimental such as when x-rays are used to diagnose lumbar spondylosis leading to patients inappropriately limiting their activity. Chronic knee pain in the elderly is another example where applying labels is problematical. A common diagnosis in this situation is osteoarthritis, but this label can be applied in two ways: as a radiological diagnosis, or as a clinical one. The x-ray diagnosis, however, does not equate with the clinical syndrome, and vice versa. In addition, diagnosing knee pain as osteoarthritis does not necessarily help in management, since a patient's debility is more dependent upon their clinical signs and symptoms than the presence of radiographic osteoarthritis, and by the same token its clinical counterpart. GPs are consistent in their management of knee pain, but in attempting to diagnose the pain as osteoarthritis, these plans can alter and become more dependent on the actual diagnosis than the clinical picture. As a result management may well diverge from what the current best evidence supports. Diagnosis for diagnosis sake, should therefore be discouraged, and chronic knee pain gives us one example of why this is the case. GPs would be better placed to manage this condition if it was considered more as a regional pain syndrome, perhaps defining it simply as ‘chronic knee pain in older people’. This example suggests that there is a pressing need in primary care to carefully consider in chronic disease when it is appropriate to be definitive in diagnosis such that when using disease specific labels, there is definite benefit for the patient and doctor.
chronic disease; diagnosis; knee osteoarthritis; radiography
A recent study of adults aged ≥50 years reporting knee pain found an excess of radiographic knee osteoarthritis (knee ROA) in symptomatic males compared to females. This was independent of age, BMI and other clinical signs and symptoms. Since this finding contradicts many previous studies, our objective was to explore four possible explanations for this gender difference: X-ray views, selection, occupation and non-articular conditions.
A community-based prospective study. 819 adults aged ≥50 years reporting knee pain in the previous 12 months were recruited by postal questionnaires to a research clinic involving plain radiography (weight-bearing posteroanterior semiflexed, supine skyline and lateral views), clinical interview and physical examination. Any knee ROA, ROA severity, tibiofemoral joint osteoarthritis (TJOA) and patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis (PJOA) were defined using all three radiographic views. Occupational class was derived from current or last job title. Proportions of each gender with symptomatic knee ROA were expressed as percentages, stratified by age; differences between genders were expressed as percentage differences with 95% confidence intervals.
745 symptomatic participants were eligible and had complete X-ray data. Males had a higher occurrence (77%) of any knee ROA than females (61%). In 50–64 year olds, the excess in men was mild knee OA (particularly PJOA); in ≥65 year olds, the excess was both mild and moderate/severe knee OA (particularly combined TJOA/PJOA). This male excess persisted when using the posteroanterior view only (64% vs. 52%). The lowest level of participation in the clinic was symptomatic females aged 65+. Within each occupational class there were more males with symptomatic knee ROA than females. In those aged 50–64 years, non-articular conditions were equally common in both genders although, in those aged 65+, they occurred more frequently in symptomatic females (41%) than males (31%).
The excess of knee ROA among symptomatic males in this study seems unlikely to be attributable to the use of comprehensive X-ray views. Although prior occupational exposures and the presence of non-articular conditions cannot be fully excluded, selective non-participation bias seems the most likely explanation. This has implications for future study design.
Psychological models predict behaviour in a wide range of settings. The aim of this study was to explore the usefulness of a range of psychological models to predict the health professional behaviour 'referral for lumbar spine x-ray in patients presenting with low back pain' by UK primary care physicians.
Psychological measures were collected by postal questionnaire survey from a random sample of primary care physicians in Scotland and north England. The outcome measures were clinical behaviour (referral rates for lumbar spine x-rays), behavioural simulation (lumbar spine x-ray referral decisions based upon scenarios), and behavioural intention (general intention to refer for lumbar spine x-rays in patients with low back pain). Explanatory variables were the constructs within the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), Common Sense Self-Regulation Model (CS-SRM), Operant Learning Theory (OLT), Implementation Intention (II), Weinstein's Stage Model termed the Precaution Adoption Process (PAP), and knowledge. For each of the outcome measures, a generalised linear model was used to examine the predictive value of each theory individually. Linear regression was used for the intention and simulation outcomes, and negative binomial regression was used for the behaviour outcome. Following this 'theory level' analysis, a 'cross-theoretical construct' analysis was conducted to investigate the combined predictive value of all individual constructs across theories.
Constructs from TPB, SCT, CS-SRM, and OLT predicted behaviour; however, the theoretical models did not fit the data well. When predicting behavioural simulation, the proportion of variance explained by individual theories was TPB 11.6%, SCT 12.1%, OLT 8.1%, and II 1.5% of the variance, and in the cross-theory analysis constructs from TPB, CS-SRM and II explained 16.5% of the variance in simulated behaviours. When predicting intention, the proportion of variance explained by individual theories was TPB 25.0%, SCT 21.5%, CS-SRM 11.3%, OLT 26.3%, PAP 2.6%, and knowledge 2.3%, and in the cross-theory analysis constructs from TPB, SCT, CS-SRM, and OLT explained 33.5% variance in intention. Together these results suggest that physicians' beliefs about consequences and beliefs about capabilities are likely determinants of lumbar spine x-ray referrals.
The study provides evidence that taking a theory-based approach enables the creation of a replicable methodology for identifying factors that predict clinical behaviour. However, a number of conceptual and methodological challenges remain.
Studies have suggested that the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) are rather weakly associated with radiographic findings and vice versa. Our objectives were to identify estimates of the prevalence of radiographic knee OA in adults with knee pain and of knee pain in adults with radiographic knee OA, and determine if the definitions of x ray osteoarthritis and symptoms, and variation in demographic factors influence these estimates.
A systematic literature search identifying population studies which combined x rays, diagnosis, clinical signs and symptoms in knee OA. Estimates of the prevalence of radiographic OA in people with knee pain were determined and vice versa. In addition the effects of influencing factors were scrutinised.
The proportion of those with knee pain found to have radiographic osteoarthritis ranged from 15–76%, and in those with radiographic knee OA the proportion with pain ranged from 15% – 81%. Considerable variation occurred with x ray view, pain definition, OA grading and demographic factors
Knee pain is an imprecise marker of radiographic knee osteoarthritis but this depends on the extent of radiographic views used. Radiographic knee osteoarthritis is likewise an imprecise guide to the likelihood that knee pain or disability will be present. Both associations are affected by the definition of pain used and the nature of the study group. The results of knee x rays should not be used in isolation when assessing individual patients with knee pain.
BACKGROUND—Osteoarthritis is the single most common cause of disability in older adults, and most patients with the condition will be managed in the community and primary care.
AIM—To discuss case definition of knee osteoarthritis for primary care and to summarise the burden of the condition in the community and related use of primary health care in the United Kingdom.
METHOD—A literature search identified studies of incidence and prevalence of knee pain, disability, and radiographic osteoarthritis in the general population, and data related to primary care consultations. Findings from UK studies were summarised with reference to European and international studies.
RESULTS—During a one year period 25% of people over 55 years have a persistent episode of knee pain, of whom about one in six in the UK and the Netherlands consult their general practitioner about it in the same time period. The prevalence of painful disabling knee osteoarthritis in people over 55 years is 10%, of whom one quarter are severely disabled.
CONCLUSION—Knee osteoarthritis sufficiently severe to consider joint replacement represents a minority of all knee pain and disability suffered by older people. Healthcare provision in primary care needs to focus on this broader group to impact on community levels of pain and disability.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the influences of radiographic severity, quadriceps strength, knee pain, age, and gender on functional ability in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. METHODS: Equal numbers of knee pain positive and negative respondents to a survey of registrants aged more than 55 years at a general practice were invited to attend for knee radiographs and quadriceps femoris isometric strength estimations. Disability was measured using the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire. RESULTS: Complete data were available on 70 men (mean age 72.7 years) and 89 women (mean age 68.1 years); 44% reported knee pain, 48% had radiographic features of osteoarthritis, and 32% reported some degree of disability. Significant correlations were observed between disability and radiographic score, quadriceps strength, and knee pain. Logistic regression analysis, however, showed significant independent contributions from quadriceps strength (odds ratio 0.84 kgF), knee pain (odds ratio 1.67), and age (odds ratio 1.06 per year) only; the radiographic score had no influence on the model. These results were not influenced by confining the analysis to the group with radiographic features of osteoarthritis. CONCLUSIONS: Quadriceps strength, knee pain, and age are more important determinants of functional impairment in elderly subjects than the severity of knee osteoarthritis as assessed radiographically. Strategies designed to optimise muscle strength may have the potential to reduce a vast burden of disability, dependency, and cost.
BACKGROUND: The focus of care for people with diabetes has shifted from hospital to general practice. Many practices now offer diabetes care via dedicated mini-clinics, shared care schemes or opportunistically. There has never been a national survey of the organisation of diabetes care in general practice. AIM: To describe some key features of diabetes care in primary care in England and Wales. METHOD: Descriptive postal questionnaire survey to one in five (1873) randomly sampled general practices. RESULTS: Seventy per cent (1320) of practices responded. Of these, 96% had diabetes registers identifying 1.9% of their population as having diabetes; 71% held clinics run by a general practitioner (GP) and a nurse (64%) or a nurse alone (34%); 80% felt adequately supported; and 54% shared patient management protocols with the local secondary care team. Overall, practices provided most of the routine diabetes care for 75% of their diabetic patients. The majority of GPs and practice nurses had received some recent, albeit brief, diabetes education. CONCLUSION: A large proportion of diabetes care now takes place in the community, much of it delivered by practice nurses. The organisational infrastructure necessary for delivering good care is in place. Many practices have a special interest in diabetes with the majority feeling adequately supported by secondary care. However, there are concerns about the educational needs of those providing care. More work needs to be done to ensure seamless care across the primary-secondary care interface.
Background: No consistent relationship between the severity of symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and radiographic change has been demonstrated.
Objectives: To determine the relationship between symptoms of knee OA and tibial cartilage volume, whether pain predicts loss of cartilage in knee OA, and whether change in cartilage volume over time relates to change in symptoms over the same period.
Method: 132 subjects with symptomatic, early (mild to moderate) knee OA were studied. At baseline and 2 years later, participants had MRI scans of their knee and completed questionnaires quantifying symptoms of knee OA (knee-specific WOMAC: pain, stiffness, function) and general physical and mental health (SF-36). Tibial cartilage volume was determined from the MRI images.
Results: Complete data were available for 117 (89%) subjects. A weak association was found between tibial cartilage volume and symptoms at baseline. The severity of the symptoms of knee OA at baseline did not predict subsequent tibial cartilage loss. However, weak associations were seen between worsening of symptoms of OA and increased cartilage loss: pain (rs = 0.28, p = 0.002), stiffness (rs = 0.17, p = 0.07), and deterioration in function (rs = 0.21, p = 0.02).
Conclusion: Tibial cartilage volume is weakly associated with symptoms in knee OA. There is a weak association between loss of tibial cartilage and worsening of symptoms. This suggests that although cartilage is not a major determinant of symptoms in knee OA, it does relate to symptoms.
Selective non-participation at baseline (due to non-response and non-consent) and loss to follow-up are important concerns for longitudinal observational research. We investigated these matters in the context of baseline recruitment and retention at 18 months of participants for a prospective observational cohort study of knee pain and knee osteoarthritis in the general population.
Participants were recruited to the Knee Clinical Assessment Study – CAS(K) – by a multi-stage process involving response to two postal questionnaires, consent to further contact and medical record review (optional), and attendance at a research clinic. Follow-up at 18-months was by postal questionnaire. The characteristics of responders/consenters were described for each stage in the recruitment process to identify patterns of selective non-participation and loss to follow-up. The external validity of findings from the clinic attenders was tested by comparing the distribution of WOMAC scores and the association between physical function and obesity with the same parameters measured directly in the target population as whole.
3106 adults aged 50 years and over reporting knee pain in the previous 12 months were identified from the first baseline questionnaire. Of these, 819 consented to further contact, responded to the second questionnaire, and attended the research clinics. 776 were successfully followed up at 18 months. There was evidence of selective non-participation during recruitment (aged 80 years and over, lower socioeconomic group, currently in employment, experiencing anxiety or depression, brief episode of knee pain within the previous year). This did not cause significant bias in either the distribution of WOMAC scores or the association between physical function and obesity.
Despite recruiting a minority of the target population to the research clinics and some evidence of selective non-participation, this appears not to have resulted in significant bias of cross-sectional estimates. The main effect of non-participation in the current cohort is likely to be a loss of precision in stratum-specific estimates e.g. in those aged 80 years and over. The subgroup of individuals who attended the research clinics and who make up the CAS(K) cohort can be used to accurately estimate parameters in the reference population as a whole. The potential for selection bias, however, remains an important consideration in each subsequent analysis.
The progressive nature of knee osteoarthritis (OA) leads to not only to physical but also to psychosocial decline; this aspect can influence knee pain experience, manifestations and inevitably diagnostic accuracy.
To analyze the role of depressive symptoms on the association between radiographic OA and knee pain, understanding the ability of knee pain symptoms to find out individuals with radiographic OA.
Data on 663 subjects was obtained by interview using a structured questionnaire on social, demographic, behavioural and clinical data. Painful knee was assessed regarding having pain: ever, in the last year, in the last 6 months and in the last month. Using factor analysis, participants were graded using a knee pain score, with higher scores representing more symptomatology. Depressive symptoms were evaluated with the Beck Depressive Inventory (BDI), and radiographic knee OA was classified using the Kellgren Lawrence (KL) scale; those with KL ≥ 2 were considered as having radiographic OA.
Knee pain was reported by 53.2% of those with radiographic KL ≥ 2 and by 33.2% of those with radiographic KL < 2. The prevalence of depressive symptoms (BDI > 14) was 19.9% among participants with radiographic KL ≥ 2 and 12.6% among those with radiographic KL < 2 (p = 0.01). The association of knee pain with radiographic knee OA was higher in higher pain scores and in participants without depressive symptoms. Among participants with BDI ≤ 14 the likelihood ratio to identify patients with radiographic knee OA increased with increased pain scores: 1.02 for score 1; 2.19 for score 2 and 7.34 when participants responded positively to all pain questions (score 3). Among participants with depressive symptoms (BDI > 14) likelihood ratios were 0.51, 1.92, 1.82, respectively. The results were similar for both genders.
Knee pain scores increased ability to identify participants with radiographic KL ≥ 2 in both sexes. However, the presence of depressive symptoms impairs the ability of knee pain complaints to identify patients with radiographic OA.
Knee; Osteoarthritis; Pain; Radiographic OA; Depressive symptoms
OBJECTIVE--A baseline audit of radiology referral practice before the introduction of a strategy for change involving guidelines of good practice, monitoring, and peer review. DESIGN--Prospective data collection over a continuous 12 months period at each centre sometime between January 1987 and December 1989. SETTING--Five district general hospitals and one district health authority. SUBJECTS--159,421 inpatient discharges, deaths, and day cases and 861,370 outpatient attendances under the care of 722 consultants from 25 clinical specialties. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Monitoring of x ray examination referrals per 100 inpatient discharges, deaths, and day cases and per 100 new outpatient attenders after establishment of a computerised data collection system. RESULTS--Referral rates for all x ray examinations varied between firms in the same specialty or sub-specialty by as much as eightfold for inpatients and 13-fold for outpatients, and for chest x ray examination by as much as ninefold for inpatients and 25-fold for outpatients. There was no consistent relation between high referral and teaching status of the centre or specialty or subspecialty. CONCLUSIONS--The variation that persisted at all levels of disaggregation of the data supports a recent suggestion that at least a fifth of x ray examinations carried out in Britain may be clinically unhelpful. An intervention study that examines the effect of guidelines of good practice and attendant peer review procedures on the baseline referral levels described above is needed to test this hypothesis further.
Purpose: To determine whether activity-modifying behaviour mediates the relationship between the severity of knee pain and each of physical function and knee-related quality of life. Methods: A total of 105 participants with medial knee pain and no diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis (mean age 52.2 [SD 6.7] y) completed two self-report questionnaires. The Questionnaire to Identify Knee Symptoms assessed activity-modifying behaviour; the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score assessed pain severity, physical function, and knee-related quality of life. Simple mediation analysis was performed using linear regression. Results: The unstandardized regression coefficient for activity-modifying behaviour revealed partial mediation of the effect of pain severity on physical function (0.31 (SE 0.09), p<0.001) and on knee-related quality of life (0.24 (SE 0.07), p<0.001). After accounting for activity-modifying behaviour, the variance in physical function that was explained by pain decreased from 45% to 15%, and the variance in knee-related quality of life that was explained by pain decreased from 64% to 25%. Conclusion: Activity-modifying behaviour partially mediates the relationship between pain severity and physical function and between pain severity and knee-related quality of life. Activity-modifying behaviour may thus counteract the impact of knee pain on physical function and knee-related quality of life, which explains why it is used by people with emergent knee pain.
behaviour; arthralgia; knee; activities of daily living; quality of life; genou; douleur articulaire; comportement; limitation de l'activité; qualité de vie
To examine whether the consistency or persistence of knee pain, in addition to its severity, predicts incident total knee replacement (TKR).
The Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) is a longitudinal study of persons aged 50 to 79 years with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis or at high risk of disease. Subjects were queried about the presence of knee pain on most days of the previous 30 days (i.e., frequent knee pain; FKP) at 2 timepoints: a telephone screen followed by a clinic visit (median separation 4 weeks). We defined a knee as having “consistent pain” if the subject answered positively to the FKP question at both timepoints, “inconsistent pain” if FKP was positive at only one timepoint, or as “no FKP” if negative at both. We examined the association between consistent FKP and risk of TKR using multiple binomial regression with generalized estimating equations.
In 3026 persons (mean age 63 yrs, mean body mass index 30.4), 2979 knees (50%) had no FKP at baseline, 1279 knees (21.5%) had inconsistent FKP, and 1696 knees (28.5%) had consistent FKP. Risk of TKR over 30 months was 0.8%, 2.6%, and 8.8% for knees with no, inconsistent, and consistent FKP, respectively. Relative risks of TKR over 30 months were 1.2 (95% CI 0.6–2.3) and 2.3 (95% CI 1.2–4.4) for knees with inconsistent and consistent FKP, compared with those without FKP. This association was consistent across each level of pain severity on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.
Consistency of frequent knee pain is associated with an increased risk of TKR independently of knee pain severity. (First Release April 15 2011; J Rheumatol 2011;38:1390–5; doi:10.3899/jrheum.100743)
OSTEOARTHRITIS; PAIN; JOINT REPLACEMENT; KNEE
In a randomised clinical trial in 50 patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the medial compartment of the knee, the clinical results of high tibial osteotomy (HTO) according to the open wedge osteotomy (OWO) and closed wedge osteotomy (CWO) were compared. In both groups locked plate fixation was used. Clinical and radiological assessments were performed preoperatively and after one year. Postoperative hip-knee-ankle (HKA) correction angles were monitored on standing leg X-rays. The effect of HTO on collateral laxity of the knee was measured with a specially designed varus-valgus device. The WOMAC osteoarthritis index, the modified knee society score (KS) and visual analogue scales (VAS) were used to assess symptoms of osteoarthritis, function, pain and patient satisfaction. At one-year follow-up we found accurate corrections in both groups and the planned correction angles were achieved. No loss of correction was observed. Furthermore, the medial collateral laxity and the patellar height significantly decreased after OWO. Significant improvements of WOMAC and KS scores were found in both groups. All patients had significantly less pain and were very satisfied with the results. Surgery time was significantly longer in the CWO group, and complications were more frequent in this group. Both techniques led to good and comparable clinical results. The choice of whether to perform an open or a closed wedge osteotomy may be based on preoperative patellar height or concomitant collateral laxity.
Knee pain affects an estimated 25% of the adult population aged 50 years and over. Osteoarthritis is the most common diagnosis made in older adults consulting with knee pain in primary care. However, the relationship between this diagnosis and both the current disease-based definition of osteoarthritis and the regional pain syndrome of knee pain and disability is unclear. Expert consensus, based on current evidence, views the disease and the syndrome as distinct entities but the clinical usefulness of these two approaches to classifying knee pain in older adults has not been established. We plan to conduct a prospective, population-based, observational cohort study to investigate the relative merits of disease-based and regional pain syndrome-based approaches to classification and prognosis of knee pain in older adults.
All patients aged 50 years and over registered with three general practices in North Staffordshire will be invited to take part in a two-stage postal survey. Respondents to this survey phase who indicate that they have experienced knee pain within the previous 12 months will be invited to attend a research clinic for a detailed assessment. This will consist of clinical interview, physical examination, digital photography, plain x-rays, anthropometric measurement and a brief self-complete questionnaire. All consenting clinic attenders will be followed up by (i) general practice medical record review, (ii) repeat postal questionnaire at 18-months.
The incidence and the clinical course of patients suffering from sickle-cell syndrome (Hb SS; Hb SC; Hb S thal) in England and Wales are not known. In 1979 an ad hoc committee was formed to investigate these problems. Initially, a questionnaire was sent to 227 haematologists in England and Wales to determine the number of cases in these countries. The replies have indicated that 1367 cases were seen in 1978 and 1979. Probably this may represent only half the total number of cases. From this survey it has been possible to draw up a composite map showing the location of patients, which has provided a basis to determine the clinical course of the disease, and for further studies into the complications and management of sickle-cell disease in England and Wales. From a second questionnaire preliminary data about the general management and mortality in England and Wales have been recorded.
While depressive symptoms and knee pain are independently known to impede daily walking in older adults, it is unknown whether positive affect promotes daily walking. This study investigated this association among adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and examined whether knee pain modified this association.
Cross-sectional analysis of the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. We included 1018 participants (mean age 63.1 ± 7.8 years, 60% female) who had radiographic knee OA and had worn a StepWatch monitor to record steps/day. High- and low- positive affect, and depressive symptoms were based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. Knee pain was categorized as present in respondents who reported pain on most days at both a clinic visit and a telephone screen.
Compared to respondents with low positive affect (27% of respondents), those with high positive affect (63%) walked similar steps/day while those with depressive symptoms (10%) walked less (adjusted beta coefficients = −32.6 [−458.9, 393.8] and −579.1 [−1274.9, 116.7], respectively). There was a statistically significant interaction of positive affect by knee pain (p= 0.0045). Among respondents with knee pain (39%), those with high positive affect walked significantly more steps/day (711.0 [55.1, 1366.9]) than those with low positive affect.
High positive affect was associated with more daily walking among adults with painful knee OA. Positive affect may be an important psychological factor to consider to promote physical activity among people with painful knee OA.
Physical Activity; Positive Affect; Depressive Symptoms; Knee Pain; Walking
Self-management (SM) programs are effective for some chronic conditions, however the evidence for arthritis SM is inconclusive. The aim of this case series project was to determine whether a newly developed specific self-management program for people with osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK), implemented by health professionals could achieve and maintain clinically meaningful improvements.
Participants: 79 participants enrolled; mean age 66, with established osteoarthritis of the knee. People with coexisting inflammatory joint disease or serious co-morbidities were excluded.
Intervention: 6-week disease (OA) and site (knee) specific self-management education program that included disease education, exercise advice, information on healthy lifestyle and relevant information within the constructs of self-management. This program was conducted in a community health care setting and was delivered by health professionals thereby utilising their knowledge and expertise.
Measurements: Pain, physical function and mental health scales were assessed at baseline, 8 weeks, 6 and 12 months using WOMAC and SF-36 questionnaires. Changes in pain during the 8-week intervention phase were monitored with VAS.
Pain improved during the intervention phase: mean (95% CI) change 15 (8 to 22) mm. Improvements (0.3 to 0.5 standard deviation units) in indices of pain, mental health and physical functioning, assessed by SF-36 and WOMAC questionnaires were demonstrated from baseline to 12 months.
This disease and site-specific self-management education program improved health status of people with osteoarthritis of the knee in the short and medium term.
To develop a sensitive and specific screening tool for knee and hip osteoarthritis in the general population of elderly people.
The Knee and Hip OsteoArthritis Screening Questionnaire (KHOA-SQ) was developed based on previous studies and observed data and sent to 11,002 people aged 60 to 90 years, stratified by age and gender, who were selected by random sampling. Algorithms of the KHOA-SQ were created. Respondents positive for knee or hip OA on the KHOA-SQ were invited to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon. A sample of 300 individuals negative for knee or hip OA on the KHOA-SQ were also invited for evaluation. Sensitivity and specificity were determined for the KHOA-SQ, as well as for KHOA-SQ questions. Classification and Regression Tree analysis was used to find alternative screening algorithms from the questionnaire.
Of 11,002 individuals contacted, 7,577 completed the KHOA-SQ. Of 1,115 positive for knee OA, on the KHOA-SQ, 710 (63.6%) were diagnosed with it. For hip OA, 339 of the 772 who screened positive (43.9%) were diagnosed it. Sensitivity for the hip algorithm was 87.4% and specificity 59.8%; for the knee, sensitivity was 94.5% and specificity 43.8%. Two alternative algorithms provided lower specificity.
The KHOA-SQ offers high sensitivity and moderate specificity. Although this tool correctly identifies individuals with knee or hip OA, the high false positive rate could pose problems. Based on our questions, no better algorithm was found.
Large variations in pain and function are seen over time in subjects at risk for and with radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA). We hypothesized that this variation may be related not only to knee OA but also to patient characteristics. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) on clinically relevant change in pain and function over two years in subjects at high risk for or with knee OA.
We assessed 143 individuals (16% women, mean age 50 years [range 27–83]) twice; 14 and 16 years after isolated meniscectomy. Subjects completed one disease-specific questionnaire, the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and one generic measure, the SF-36. Individuals with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 were considered overweight, while individuals with a BMI of 30 or more were considered obese.
Subjects aged 46–56 (the middle tertile) were more likely to change (≥10 points on a 0–100 scale) in the KOOS subscale Activities of Daily Living (ADL) than younger subjects (odds ratio [OR] 4.5, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.5–13.0). Essentially the same result was obtained after adjusting for baseline values. Overweight or obesity was a risk factor for clinically relevant change for knee pain (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.0 – 5.8, OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.2 – 13.6) and obesity for change in ADL (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.2 – 15.4). The results did not remain significant when adjusted for the respective baseline value. Being symptomatic was strongly associated with increased variation in pain and function while presence or absence of radiographic changes did not influence change over two years in this cohort.
In a population highly enriched in early-stage and established knee OA, symptomatic, middle-aged, and overweight or obese subjects were more likely to vary in their knee function and pain over two years. The natural course of knee pain and function may be associated with subject characteristics such as age and BMI.