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1.  Spiking of the tibial tubercles--a radiological feature of osteoarthritis? 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1996;55(2):105-108.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether 'spiking' or angulation of the tibial tubercle is associated with other radiographic markers of osteoarthritis (OA) or pain in the knee joint, and could be taken as a reliable marker for early OA, in a large general population sample. METHODS: A total of 950 women from the Chingford general population survey underwent anteroposterior extended weight bearing radiography of the knees. Angulation of the tip of the medial and lateral tubercles, and height of the tubercles above the tibial plateau were measured. These measures were compared with standard radiographic indices including qualitative Kellgren and Lawrence global score, individual scores of osteophytes and joint space narrowing, and pain score. Intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility for assessment of spiking was tested in a subgroup of 50 films using two observers and two readings. Tibial spiking (angulation and height) was defined for this study as the top 10th centile for the whole population. Patients with normal radiographs (Kellgren and Lawrence grade 0) were allocated to quartile groups on the basis of spiking to define severity. Odds ratios were then calculated for the association of spiking and knee pain. RESULTS: The majority of the measures of tibial spiking were highly reproducible. There was a significant correlation between tibial spike angulation and the presence of osteophytes, but not joint space narrowing. The correlations for spike height with osteophytes and joint space narrowing were poor. There was an association between spike angulation at the lateral tubercle and reported knee pain (odds ratio 1.45 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 2.03)) after adjustment for age, body mass index, and Kellgren and Lawrence score. There was no association between medial spike angulation or spike height and pain. Among the 950 women, 683 (72%) had normal radiographs (Kellgren and Lawrence = 0); in this group there was a similar association between pain and lateral spike angulation, but not medial spike angulation or spike height. CONCLUSIONS: Tibial spiking is associated with the presence of knee osteophytes and is reproducible, but does not have a strong independent relationship with knee pain. In patients with normal radiographs there is no useful correlation between tibial spiking and pain. Isolated tibial spiking is not a reliable sign of early knee OA, and should not routinely be reported.
PMCID: PMC1010103  PMID: 8712859
2.  Clinical classification criteria for knee osteoarthritis: performance in the general population and primary care 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;65(10):1363-1367.
Doubts have been expressed about the performance of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) clinical classification criteria for osteoarthritis when applied in the general population.
To investigate whether the distribution of population subgroups and underlying disease severity might explain the performance of these criteria in the population setting.
Population‐based cross‐sectional study. 819 adults aged ⩾50 years reporting knee pain in the last 12 months were clinically assessed by research therapists using standardised protocols and blinded to radiographic status. All participants underwent plain radiography of the knees, scored by a single reader blinded to clinical status. The relationship between fulfilling the ACR clinical classification criteria for knee osteoarthritis and the presence of symptomatic radiographic knee osteoarthritis was summarised for the sample as a whole and within subgroups.
Radiographic osteoarthritis was present in 539 participants (68%) and symptomatic radiographic knee osteoarthritis in 259 (33%). 238 participants (30%) fulfilled the ACR clinical criteria for knee osteoarthritis. Agreement between the ACR clinical criteria and symptomatic radiographic knee osteoarthritis was low (sensitivity 41%; specificity 75%; positive predictive value 44%; negative predictive value 72%). Sensitivity and specificity did not vary markedly between population subgroups, although they were influenced by the underlying severity of radiographic osteoarthritis.
The ACR clinical criteria seem to reflect later signs in advanced disease. Other approaches may be needed to identify early, mild osteoarthritis in the general population and primary care.
PMCID: PMC1798313  PMID: 16627539
3.  Incidental Meniscal Findings on Knee MRI in Middle-Aged and Elderly Persons 
The New England journal of medicine  2008;359(11):1108-1115.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the knee is often performed in patients who have knee symptoms of unclear cause. When meniscal tears are found, it is commonly assumed that the symptoms are attributable to them. However, there is a paucity of data regarding the prevalence of meniscal damage in the general population and the association of meniscal tears with knee symptoms and with radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis.
We studied persons from Framingham, Massachusetts, who were drawn from census-tract data and random-digit telephone dialing. Subjects were 50 to 90 years of age and ambulatory; selection was not made on the basis of knee or other joint problems. We assessed the integrity of the menisci in the right knee on 1.5-tesla MRI scans obtained from 991 subjects (57% of whom were women). Symptoms involving the right knee were evaluated by questionnaire.
The prevalence of a meniscal tear or of meniscal destruction in the right knee as detected on MRI ranged from 19% (95% confidence interval [CI], 15 to 24) among women 50 to 59 years of age to 56% (95% CI, 46 to 66) among men 70 to 90 years of age; prevalences were not materially lower when subjects who had had previous knee surgery were excluded. Among persons with radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis (Kellgren–Lawrence grade 2 or higher, on a scale of 0 to 4, with higher numbers indicating more definite signs of osteoarthritis), the prevalence of a meniscal tear was 63% among those with knee pain, aching, or stiffness on most days and 60% among those without these symptoms. The corresponding prevalences among persons without radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis were 32% and 23%. Sixty-one percent of the subjects who had meniscal tears in their knees had not had any pain, aching, or stiffness during the previous month.
Incidental meniscal findings on MRI of the knee are common in the general population and increase with increasing age.
PMCID: PMC2897006  PMID: 18784100
4.  Isometric Quadriceps Strength in Women with Mild, Moderate, and Severe Knee Osteoarthritis 
Quadriceps weakness is a common clinical sign in persons with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis and results in physical disability; however, minimal data exist to establish whether quadriceps weakness is present in early stages of the disease. Therefore, our purpose was to determine whether quadriceps weakness was present in persons with early radiographic and cartilaginous evidence of osteoarthritis. Further, we sought to determine whether quadriceps strength decreases as osteoarthritis severity increases.
Three hundred forty-eight women completed radiologic and magnetic resonance imaging evaluation, in addition to strength testing. Anterior-posterior radiographs were graded for tibiofemoral osteoarthritis severity using the Kellgren-Lawrence scale. Scans from magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess medial tibiofemoral and patellar cartilage based on a modification of the Noyes scale. The peak knee extension torque recorded was used to represent strength.
Quadriceps strength (Nm/kg) was 22% greater in women without radiographic osteoarthritis than in women with osteoarthritis (P < 0.05). Quadriceps strength was also greater in women with Noyes’ medial tibial and femoral cartilage scores of 0 when compared in women with Noyes’ grades 2 and 3–5 (P ≤ 0.05).
Women with early evidence of osteoarthritis had less quadriceps strength than women without osteoarthritis as defined by imaging.
PMCID: PMC3294452  PMID: 20463561
Knee Extensors; Muscle; Joint Disease
5.  Reduced functional performance in the lower extremity predicted radiographic knee osteoarthritis five years later 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2004;63(4):402-407.
Background: Reduced quadriceps strength is an early finding in subjects with knee osteoarthritis, but it is not clear whether it is a cause or a consequence of knee osteoarthritis.
Objective: To determine whether reduced functional performance in the lower extremity predicts the incidence or progression of radiographic knee osteoarthritis.
Design: Prospective, epidemiological, population based cohort study.
Patients: 148 subjects (62 women), aged 35–54 (mean 44.8), with chronic knee pain from a population based cohort.
Measurements: Predictors analysed were age, sex, body mass index, baseline knee pain, and three tests of lower extremity functional performance: maximum number of one-leg rises from sitting, time spent walking 300 m, and timed standing on one leg. Weightbearing tibiofemoral knee radiographs were obtained at baseline and after 5 years (median 5.1, range 4.2–6.1), and classified according to Kellgren and Lawrence as no osteoarthritis (Kellgren and Lawrence = 0, n = 94) or prevalent osteoarthritis (Kellgren and Lawrence ⩾1, n = 54).
Results: Fewer one-leg rises (median 17 v 25) predicted incident radiographic osteoarthritis five years later (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 6.0). The association remained significant after controlling for age, sex, body mass index, and pain. No significant predictor of radiographic progression in the group with prevalent osteoarthritis was found.
Conclusion: Reduced functional performance in the lower extremity predicted development of radiographic knee osteoarthritis 5 years later among people aged 35–55 with chronic knee pain and normal radiographs at baseline. These findings suggest that a test of one-leg rises may be useful, and interventions aimed at improving functional performance may be protective against development of knee osteoarthritis.
PMCID: PMC1754965  PMID: 15020334
6.  Role of radiography in predicting progression of osteoarthritis of the hip: prospective cohort study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;330(7501):1183.
Objectives To investigate which variables identify people at high risk of progression of osteoarthritis of the hip.
Design Population based cohort study.
Setting Ommoord district in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Participants 1904 men and women aged 55 years and older from the Rotterdam study were selected on the basis of the presence of osteoarthritic signs on radiography at baseline, as defined by a Kellgren and Lawrence score ≥ grade 1.
Main outcome measures Radiological progression of osteoarthritis of the hip, defined as a decrease of joint space width (≥ 1.0 mm) at follow-up or the presence of a total hip replacement.
Methods Potential determinants of progression of hip osteoarthritis were collected at baseline. x Ray films of the hip at baseline and follow-up (mean follow-up time 6.6 years) were evaluated. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the association between potential risk factors and progression of hip osteoarthritis.
Results In 13.1% (1904 subjects) of the study population (mean age 66.2 years), progression of hip osteoarthritis was evident on the radiograph. Starting with a simple model of only directly obtainable variables, the Kellgren and Lawrence score at baseline, when added to the model, was a strong predictor (odds ratio 5.8, 95% confidence interval 4.0 to 8.4), increasing to 24.3 (11.3 to 52.1) in subjects with hip pain at baseline.
Conclusions The Kellgren and Lawrence score at baseline was by far the strongest predictor for progression of hip osteoarthritis, especially in patients with existing hip pain at baseline. In patients with hip pain, a radiograph has strong additional value in identifying those at high risk of progression of hip osteoarthritis.
PMCID: PMC558014  PMID: 15894555
7.  Radiographic knee osteoarthritis in ex-elite table tennis players 
Table tennis involves adoption of the semi-flexed knee and asymmetrical torsional trunk movements creating rotational torques on the knee joint which may predispose players to osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. This study aims to compare radiographic signs of knee OA and associated functional levels in ex-elite male table tennis players and control subjects.
Study participants were 22 ex-elite male table tennis players (mean age 56.64 ± 5.17 years) with 10 years of involvement at the professional level and 22 non-athletic males (mean age 55.63 ± 4.08 years) recruited from the general population. A set of three radiographs taken from each knee were evaluated by an experienced radiologist using the Kellgren and Lawrence (KL) scale (0-4) to determine radiographic levels of OA severity. The intercondylar distance was taken as a measure of lower limb angulation. Participants also completed the pain, stiffness, and physical function categories of the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) 3.1 questionnaire.
The results showed 78.3% of the ex-elite table tennis players and 36.3% of controls had varying signs of radiographic knee OA with a significant difference in the prevalence levels of definite radiographic OA (KL scale > 2) found between the two groups (P ≤ 0.001). Based on the WOMAC scores, 68.2% of the ex-elite table tennis players reported symptoms of knee pain compared with 27.3% of the controls (p = 0.02) though no significant differences were identified in the mean physical function or stiffness scores between the two groups. In terms of knee alignment, 73.7% of the ex-elite athletes and 32% of the control group had signs of altered lower limb alignment (genu varum) (p = 0.01). Statistical differences were found in subjects categorized as having radiographic signs of OA and altered lower limb alignment (p = 0.03).
Ex-elite table tennis players were found to have increased levels of radiological signs of OA in the knee joint though this did not transpire through to altered levels of physical disability or knee stiffness in these players when compared with subjects from the general population suggesting that function in these players is not severely impacted upon.
PMCID: PMC3327626  PMID: 22309356
8.  Radiographic signs for detection of femoroacetabular impingement and hip dysplasia should be carefully used in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip 
During the last years, terms like acetabular retroversion, excessive overcoverage, and abnormal head-neck-junction with the so called “pistol-grip-deformity” has been added to the classical description of hip dysplasia. These anatomical changes could lead to a femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Both kinds of FAI has been indentified as a main reason for hip pain and progressive degenerative changes leading to early osteoarthritis of the hip. A lot of radiographic criteria on pelvic views have been established to detect classical dysplasia and FAI. The present study was initiated to assess the hypothesis that age and severity of osteoarthritis affect measurements of different radiographic parameters.
The pelvic radiographs of 1614 patients were measured for head-ratio, CE-angle, roof obliquity, extrusion-index, depth-to-width ratio, CCD-angle, sharp’s angle. To evaluate the severity of osteoarthritis of the hip the classification by Kellgren and Lawrence was used. Associations between age and radiographic parameters or severity of osteoarthritis were assessed by Spearman’s (ρ) or Kendall’s (r) rank correlation coefficient, respectively.
366 (22.7%) patients presented no sign of osteoarthritis, 367 (22.7%) patients presented I° osteoarthritis, 460 (28.5%) patients presented II° osteoarthritis, 307 (19%) III° osteoarthritis and 114 (7.1%) IV° osteoarthritis of the hip. The mean head-ratio of all patients was 1.13 ± 0.26 (0.76 – 2.40), the mean CE-angle 40.05° ± 10.13° (0° - 70°), the mean roof obliquity was 35.27°± 4.96° (10° – 55°), the mean extrusion-index was 12.99 ± 9.21 (6.20 – 95.2), the mean depth-to-width ratio was 59.30 ± 8.90 (6.30 – 100), the mean CCD-angle was 127.68° ± 7.22° (123° – 162°) and the mean sharp’s angle was 9.75° ± 5.40° (1° - 34°) There was a weak association between age and the severity of osteoarthritis of the hips (left: r = 0.291; right: r = 0.275; both P < 0.001) with higher osteoarthritis levels observable for elderly patients).
Severity of osteoarthritis has a negative impact on measurements of different radiographic parameters. Therefore - in our opinion - epidemiological studies on prearthrotic deformities should only be performed in healthy adults with no signs of osteoarthritic changes.
PMCID: PMC4029939  PMID: 24886025
Radiographic Signs; Impingement; Hip; Dysplasia; Osteoarthritis
9.  Vitamin K Deficiency Is Associated with Incident Knee Osteoarthritis 
The American journal of medicine  2013;126(3):243-248.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, with knee osteoarthritis being the leading cause of lower extremity disability among older adults in the US. There are no treatments available to prevent the structural pathology of osteoarthritis. Because of vitamin K’s role in regulating skeletal mineralization, it has potential to be a preventative option for osteoarthritis. We therefore examined the relation of vitamin K to new-onset radiographic knee osteoarthritis and early osteoarthritis changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Subjects from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis (MOST) Study had knee radiographs and MRI scans obtained at baseline and 30 months later, and plasma phylloquinone (vitamin K) measured at baseline. We examined the relationship of subclinical vitamin K deficiency to incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis and MRI-based cartilage lesions and osteophytes, respectively, using log binomial regression with generalized estimating equations, adjusting for potential confounders.
Among 1180 participants (62% women, mean age 62 ± 8 years, mean body mass index 30.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2), subclinical vitamin K deficiency was associated with incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis (risk ratio [RR] 1.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–2.25) and cartilage lesions (RR 2.39; 95% CI, 1.05–5.40) compared with no deficiency, but not with osteophytes (RR 2.35; 95% CI, 0.54–10.13). Subclinically vitamin K-deficient subjects were more likely to develop osteoarthritis in one or both knees than neither knee (RR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01–1.75 and RR 2.12; 95% CI, 1.06-4.24, respectively).
In the first such longitudinal study, subclinical vitamin K deficiency was associated with increased risk of developing radiographic knee osteoarthritis and MRI-based cartilage lesions. Further study of vitamin K is warranted given its therapeutic/prophylactic potential for osteoarthritis.
PMCID: PMC3641753  PMID: 23410565
Incident knee osteoarthritis; MRI cartilage abnormalities; Vitamin K
10.  Definition of osteoarthritis of the knee for epidemiological studies. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1993;52(11):790-794.
OBJECTIVES--There are no agreed criteria for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in population studies. The radiographic scoring system of Kellgren and Lawrence has been the system most used in the past and although other methods have been developed, comparisons have not been performed. Therefore these grading systems were compared in radiographs from a general population sample. METHODS--Anteroposterior weightbearing radiographs of 1954 knees from 977 women aged 45-64 years from the Chingford population study were read by a variety of methods, including quantitative measures of minimum joint space, qualitative measures of osteophytes and of joint space, and a qualitative Kellgren and Lawrence global score. All qualitative methods used standardised atlases. Intra-observer and interobserver reproducibility was tested on a subgroup of 100 films using three observers and two readings. Variables were dichotomised at the tenth and second centiles to define OA. Odds ratios were calculated for each method for the association of OA with knee pain, obesity, and with each of the other methods. RESULTS--Most methods had high intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility, except for measurements of lateral joint space. The best predictors of knee pain were the presence of osteophytes and the Kellgren and Lawrence grade. Methods measuring narrowing performed less well, with measurements of lateral joint space being particularly poor. Similar results were achieved in the comparison with obesity and in the comparisons between methods. CONCLUSIONS--These data suggest that the presence or absence of a definite osteophyte read by a single observer with an atlas is the best method of defining OA of the knee for epidemiological studies in women. Assessment of narrowing may be better used in evaluating severity.
PMCID: PMC1005190  PMID: 8250610
11.  Relation between insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations, osteoarthritis, bone density, and fractures in the general population: the Chingford study. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1996;55(12):870-874.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) concentrations and osteoarthritis, and bone mineral density, and fractures in a large group of middle aged women from the general population. METHODS: 761 women aged 44-64 years from the Chingford study had serum IGF-I concentrations measured; hand, hip, spine, and anteroposterior weight bearing knee radiographs taken; and dual energy x ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans of the hip and spine. X rays were scored using the Kellgren and Lawrence system. In addition knee x rays were scored using a standard atlas for individual features of osteophytes and joint space narrowing (both graded 0-3). IGF-I concentrations were adjusted for the effects of age. RESULTS: In the osteoarthritis analysis results were compared to a constant group of 155 subjects with no evidence of osteoarthritis at any site. There was no significant difference in serum IGF-I between these subjects and 606 subjects with osteoarthritis at any site. When individual sites were analysed, serum IGF-I was higher in those cases with more severe bilateral knee osteoarthritis and in those with distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint disease. There was no significant association between serum IGF-I and other forms of osteoarthritis or milder forms of knee osteoarthritis. There was no correlation between IGF-I concentrations and bone mineral density at the spine or hip, nor any difference between IGF-I concentrations in subjects with and without a history of non-traumatic fracture [22.8 (SD 6.6) v 23.1 (SD 6.6) nmol litre-1, P = 0.6] CONCLUSIONS: There is a modest association between IGF-I concentrations and the development of DIP osteoarthritis and more severe or bilateral knee joint osteoarthritis in women from the normal population, but no association with other forms of osteoarthritis, bone density, or fractures.
PMCID: PMC1010336  PMID: 9014579
12.  Radiographic Predictability of Cartilage Damage in Medial Ankle Osteoarthritis 
Radiographic grading has been used to assess and select between treatment options for ankle osteoarthritis. To use radiographic grading systems in clinical practice and scientific studies one must have reliable systems that predict the fate of the cartilage.
We therefore asked whether (1) radiographic grading of ankle osteoarthritis is reliable and (2) grading reflects cartilage damage observed during arthroscopy. We then (3) determined the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the radiographic findings.
Patients and Methods
We examined 74 ankles with medial osteoarthritis and 24 with normal articular cartilage based on arthroscopy. Arthroscopic findings were graded according to the modified Outerbridge grades and all radiographs were graded using the modified Kellgren-Lawrence, Takakura et al., and van Dijk et al. grading systems. The reliability of each radiographic grading system was evaluated. We correlated the radiographic grades and severity of cartilage damage for each radiographic grading system. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of spurs and joint space narrowing with or without talar tilting then were determined.
The interobserver weighted kappa ranged from 0.58 to 0.89 and the intraobserver weighted kappa from 0.51 to 0.85. The correlation coefficients for the Kellgren-Lawrence, Takakura et al., and van Dijk et al. grades were 0.53, 0.42, and 0.42, respectively. Ankles with medial joint space narrowing (Stage 2 of Takakura et al. and van Dijk et al. grades) showed varying severity of cartilage damage. The positive predictive value of cartilage damage increased from 77% for medial joint space narrowing regardless of the presence of talar tilting to 98% for medial joint space narrowing with talar tilting.
Our observations suggest the inclusion of talar tilting in grading schemes enhances the assessment of cartilage damage.
Level of Evidence
Level II, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of level of evidence.
PMCID: PMC2895860  PMID: 20393817
13.  Women with knee osteoarthritis have more pain and poorer function than men, but similar physical activity prior to total knee replacement 
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a major clinical problem affecting a greater proportion of women than men. Women generally report higher pain intensity at rest and greater perceived functional deficits than men. Women also perform worse than men on function measures such as the 6-minute walk and timed up and go tests. Differences in pain sensitivity, pain during function, psychosocial variables, and physical activity levels are unclear. Further the ability of various biopsychosocial variables to explain physical activity, function and pain is unknown.
This study examined differences in pain, pain sensitivity, function, psychosocial variables, and physical activity between women and men with knee osteoarthritis (N = 208) immediately prior to total knee arthroplasty. We assessed: (1) pain using self-report measures and a numerical rating scale at rest and during functional tasks, (2) pain sensitivity using quantitative sensory measures, (3) function with self-report measures and specific function tasks (timed walk, maximal active flexion and extension), (4) psychosocial measures (depression, anxiety, catastrophizing, and social support), and (5) physical activity using accelerometry. The ability of these mixed variables to explain physical activity, function and pain was assessed using regression analysis.
Our findings showed significant differences on pain intensity, pain sensitivity, and function tasks, but not on psychosocial measures or physical activity. Women had significantly worse pain and more impaired function than men. Their levels of depression, anxiety, pain catastrophizing, social support, and physical activity, however, did not differ significantly. Factors explaining differences in (1) pain during movement (during gait speed test) were pain at rest, knee extension, state anxiety, and pressure pain threshold; (2) function (gait speed test) were sex, age, knee extension, knee flexion opioid medications, pain duration, pain catastrophizing, body mass index (BMI), and heat pain threshold; and (3) physical activity (average metabolic equivalent tasks (METS)/day) were BMI, age, Short-Form 36 (SF-36) Physical Function, Kellgren-Lawrence osteoarthritis grade, depression, and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) pain subscale.
Women continue to be as physically active as men prior to total knee replacement even though they have significantly more pain, greater pain sensitivity, poorer perceived function, and more impairment on specific functional tasks.
PMCID: PMC3228720  PMID: 22074728
14.  Defining osteoarthritis of the hand for epidemiological studies: the Chingford Study. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1994;53(4):220-223.
OBJECTIVES--To explore the relative merits of clinical and radiological examination in defining hand osteoarthritis (OA) for epidemiological purposes. METHODS--A total of 976 women aged 45-64 years were selected from the general population and underwent a structured interview, clinical examination of the hand joints and radiography of the hands and knees. The inter-relationship of the clinical and radiological findings was examined, and also the association of each with hand symptoms and the presence of knee OA. RESULTS--Clinical and radiographic signs of hand OA generally correlated with each other, and each was associated with hand symptoms to a similar degree. When analysed in combination, they were only marginally better at predicting symptoms than when tested individually. However, when they were examined in relation to radiographic features of knee OA, there was a significantly stronger association with radiographic features of hand OA than with clinical features. CONCLUSIONS--Hand radiology provides a better overall assessment of osteoarthritis than physical examination of the interphalangeal joints or carpo-metacarpal joint; in situations where radiology is not available clinical examination is a viable substitute.
PMCID: PMC1005298  PMID: 8203948
15.  Associations of vertebral deformities and osteoarthritis with back pain among Japanese women: the Hizen-Oshima study 
Osteoporosis International  2012;24(3):907-915.
We examined the spinal distribution of the types of vertebral deformities and the associations of vertebral deformities and osteoarthritis with back pain in Japanese women. Midthoracic and upper lumbar vertebrae were more susceptible to deformity. Vertebral deformity and osteoarthritis were frequent and were associated with back pain.
Vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are both common and significant health problems in aged people. However, little is known about the descriptive epidemiology of the individual deformity types and the relative clinical impact in women in Japan.
Lateral radiographs were obtained from 584 Japanese women ages 40 to 89 years old. Deformities were defined as vertebral heights of more than 3 standard deviations (SDs) below the normal mean. Osteoarthritis was defined as Kellgren–Lawrence (KL) grade 2 or higher. Information on upper or low back pain during the previous month was collected by questionnaire. We compared the spinal distribution of the three types of vertebral deformities (wedge, endplate, and crush) typical of fractures and examined the associations of number and type of vertebral deformities and osteoarthritis with back pain.
Fifteen percent of women had at least one vertebral deformity and 74% had vertebral osteoarthritis. The prevalence of upper or low back pain was 30.1%. Deformities were most common in the midthoracic and upper lumbar regions and wedge was the frequent type, followed by endplate and crush. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the odds of back pain was 3.0 (95% CI 1.5–6.3) times higher for women with a single wedge deformity and 3.2 (95% CI 1.0-–0.6) times higher for women with two or more wedge deformities, compared to women with no wedge deformity. Vertebral osteoarthritis was associated with back pain (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1–2.9), independent of other covariates including age and deformities.
Our results in this group of Japanese women are similar to and consistent with results reported previously in other populations of Japanese and Caucasians.
PMCID: PMC3572384  PMID: 22836277
Back pain; Epidemiology; Osteoporosis; Vertebral deformity; Vertebral osteoarthritis
16.  Gender Differences in the Correlation between Symptom and Radiographic Severity in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis 
The effects of gender on the relationship between symptom manifestations and radiographic grades of knee osteoarthritis are not well understood.
We therefore determined the increments of symptom progression with regard to radiographic grades of knee osteoarthritis and asked if those increments differed by gender and whether symptom severity was differentially manifested by gender within the same grade.
We recruited 660 community residents; 368 (56%) women and 292 (44%) men. The mean subject age was 71.5 years (range, 65–91 years). Severity of symptoms was measured using the WOMAC and SF-36 scales, and the radiographic severity using Kellgren–Lawrence grades. Incremental changes in WOMAC and SF-36 scores were compared between adjacent Kellgren–Lawrence grades separately in men and women, and in the overall population. We compared symptom severity between men and women with the same radiographic grade.
For the entire cohort, the mean incremental change in symptom severity was not gradual between the adjacent radiographic grades but was greater between Kellgren–Lawrence Grades 1 and 2 and Grades 2 and 3 than between Grades 0 and 1 or Grades 3 and 4. The patterns of incremental changes in symptom severity differed between men and women: women had more severe symptom progression between Kellgren–Lawrence Grades 2 and 3 and Grades 3 and 4 than men. Furthermore, women had worse mean WOMAC and SF-36 scores than men with the same radiographic grade of knee osteoarthritis.
These data suggest symptom progression is not gradual between adjacent radiographic grades, and for the same radiographic grade, symptoms are worse in women.
Level of Evidence
Level III, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC2881984  PMID: 20204559
17.  Radiological progression of osteoarthritis: an 11 year follow up study of the knee. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1992;51(10):1107-1110.
A follow up study was carried out in 1990 on 169 well documented patients initially presenting with osteoarthritis of the hands or knees between 1975 and 1977. Radiographic change in the knee was used as the outcome measure. Sixty three subjects had paired knee radiographs a mean of 11 years apart and were 69 (range 52-87) years old at follow up. Thirty subjects were known to have died, 28 were untraceable, and 48 were traced but did not have paired films available. The films were read independently and blind to time sequence by two observers using five different radiological scoring methods. Most of the knees did not increase in Kellgren and Lawrence grade, with only 33% deteriorating over the time period. The results were similar when a subject was categorised by their worst knee. When a more sensitive global score on paired films was used 50% of knees showed a slight deterioration and 10% improved. Visual analogue pain scores remained unchanged. Those with knee pain at baseline had a greater chance of progressing, as did those with existing osteoarthritis in the contralateral knee. These results suggest that most patients with osteoarthritis attending rheumatology clinics do not deteriorate radiographically or symptomatically over an 11 year period. More work is needed in the selection and early detection of subjects with a poor prognosis and in focusing early intervention on this high risk group.
PMCID: PMC1012413  PMID: 1444622
18.  Development and validation of self-reported line drawings for assessment of knee malalignment and foot rotation: a cross-sectional comparative study 
For large scale epidemiological studies clinical assessments and radiographs can be impractical and expensive to apply to more than just a sample of the population examined. The study objectives were to develop and validate two novel instruments for self-reported knee malalignment and foot rotation suitable for use in questionnaire studies of knee pain and osteoarthritis.
Two sets of line drawings were developed using similar methodology. Each instrument consisted of an explanatory question followed by a set of drawings showing straight alignment, then two each at 7.5° angulation and 15° angulation in the varus/valgus (knee) and inward/outward (foot) directions. Forty one participants undertaking a community study completed the instruments on two occasions. Participants were assessed once by a blinded expert clinical observer with demonstrated excellent reproducibility. Validity was assessed by sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratio (LR) using the observer as the reference standard. Reliability was assessed using weighted kappa (κ). Knee malalignment was measured on 400 knee radiographs. General linear model was used to assess for the presence of a linear increase in knee alignment angle (measured medially) from self-reported severe varus to mild varus, straight, mild valgus and severe valgus deformity.
Observer reproducibility (κ) was 0.89 and 0.81 for the knee malalignment and foot rotation instruments respectively. Self-reported participant reproducibility was also good for the knee (κ 0.73) and foot (κ 0.87) instruments. Validity was excellent for the knee malalignment instrument, with a sensitivity of 0.74 (95%CI 0.54, 0.93) and specificity of 0.97 (95%CI 0.94, 1.00). Similarly the foot rotation instrument was also found to have high sensitivity (0.92, 95%CI 0.83, 1.01) and specificity (0.96, 95%CI 0.93, 1.00). The knee alignment angle increased progressively from self reported severe varus to mild varus, straight, mild valgus and severe valgus knee malalignment (ptrend <0.001).
The two novel instruments appear to provide a valid and reliable assessment of self-reported knee malalignment and foot rotation, and may have a practical use in epidemiological studies.
PMCID: PMC2896354  PMID: 20565825
19.  Radiographic osteoarthritis of the knee classified by the Ahlbäck and Kellgren & Lawrence systems for the tibiofemoral joint in people aged 35-54 years with chronic knee pain 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1997;56(8):493-496.
OBJECTIVES—To determine the prevalence of tibiofemoral radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA) in people aged 35-54 years associated with chronic (> 3 months) knee pain using two different radiographic grading systems.
METHODS—Population based postal survey in a random sample of inhabitants in a district in southern Sweden followed by clinical examination and plain posteroanterior, weight bearing radiographical examination. The Ahlbäck criteria (focusing on joint space narrowing) and the Kell- gren & Lawrence classification for knee OA were used for diagnosing tibiofemoral OA.
RESULTS—A questionnaire was sent to 2000 randomly selected people aged 35-54 years. The response rate was 92.6%. Fifteen per cent of these people reported chronic knee pain. This group (n=279) was offered a clinical and radiographic examination of the knee joint and 204 persons agreed to participate. According to the Kellgren & Lawrence classification 28 subjects had OA of the knee grade 2 or more and 16 grade 3 or more. Radiographically detected OA of the knee according to Ahlbäck was found in 20 cases. The minimum prevalence of radiological tibiofemoral knee OA with knee pain was thus 1.5% for Kellgren & Lawrence grade 2 or more, 0.9% for grade 3 or more, and 1.1% according to the Ahlbäck classification. The agreement between the Kellgren & Lawrence grades 2-3 versus Ahlbäck grade I as well as grade 3-4 versus Ahlbäck grade I-II was good (κ 0.76 and 0.78 respectively).
CONCLUSION—The prevalence of radiographic tibiofemoral OA combined with chronic knee pain in people aged 35-54 years was around 1% as estimated by either the Kellgren & Lawrence or the Ahlbäck classifications systems. Prospective follow up of this cohort should elucidate the significance of knee pain as a sign of developing OA.

PMCID: PMC1752423  PMID: 9306873
20.  Development of a logically devised line drawing atlas for grading of knee osteoarthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(8):587-595.
OBJECTIVES—To (a) develop an atlas of line drawings for the assessment and grading of narrowing and osteophyte (that is, changes of osteoarthritis) on knee radiographs, and (b) compare the performance of this atlas with that of the standard Osteoarthritis Research Society (OARS) photographic atlas of radiographs.
METHODS—Normal joint space widths (grade 0) for the medial and lateral tibiofemoral and medial and lateral patellofemoral compartments were obtained from a previous community study. Grades 1-3 narrowing in each compartment was calculated separately for men and women, grade 3 being bone on bone, grades 1 and 2 being two thirds and one third the value of grade 0. Maximum osteophyte size (grade 3) for each of eight sites was determined from 715 bilateral knee x ray films obtained in a knee osteoarthritis (OA) hospital clinic; grades 1-2 were calculated as two thirds and one third reductions in the area of grade 3. Drawings for narrowing and osteophyte were presented separately. 50 sets of bilateral knee x ray radiographs (standing, extended anteroposterior; flexed skyline) showing a spectrum of OA grades were scored by three observers, twice using the OARS atlas and twice using the drawn atlas.
RESULTS—Intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility was similar and generally good with both atlases, though varied according to site. All three observers preferred the line drawing atlas for ease and convenience of use. Higher scores for patellofemoral narrowing and lower scores for osteophyte, especially medial femoral osteophyte, were seen using the line drawing atlas, showing that the two atlases are not equivalent instruments.
CONCLUSION—A logically derived line drawing atlas for grading of narrowing and osteophyte at the knee has been produced. The atlas showed comparable reproducibility with the OARS atlas, but was discordant in several aspects of grading. Such a system has several theoretical and practical advantages and should be considered for use in knee OA studies.

PMCID: PMC1753220  PMID: 10913052
21.  Variations in the pre-operative status of patients coming to primary hip replacement for osteoarthritis in European orthopaedic centres 
Total hip joint replacement (THR) is a high volume, effective intervention for hip osteoarthritis (OA). However, indications and determinants of outcome remain unclear. The 'EUROHIP consortium' has undertaken a cohort study to investigate these questions. This paper describes the variations in disease severity in this cohort and the relationships between clinical and radiographic severity, and explores some of the determinants of variation.
A minimum of 50 consecutive, consenting patients coming to primary THR for primary hip OA in each of the 20 participating orthopaedic centres entered the study. Pre-operative data included demographics, employment and educational attainment, drug utilisation, and involvement of other joints. Each subject completed the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC – Likert version 3.1). Other data collected at the time of surgery included the prosthesis used and American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) status. Pre-operative radiographs were read by the same three readers for Kellgren and Lawrence (K&L) grading and Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) atlas features. Regression analyses were carried out.
Data from 1327 subjects has been analysed. The mean age of the group was 65.7 years, and there were more women (53.4%) than men. Most (79%) were ASA status 1 or 2. Reported disease duration was 5 years or less in 69.2%. Disease in other joint sites was common.
Radiographs were available in 1051 subjects and the K&L grade was 3 or 4 in 95.8%. There was much more variation in clinical severity (WOMAC score); the mean total WOMAC score was 59.2 (SD 16.1). The radiographic severity showed no correlation with WOMAC scores.
Significantly higher WOMAC scores (worse disease) were seen in older people, women, those with obesity, those with worse general health, and those with lower educational attainment.
1. Clinical disease severity varies widely at the time of THR for OA.
2. In advanced hip OA clinical severity shows no correlation with radiographic severity.
3. Simple scores of pain and disability do not reflect the complexity of decision-making about who should have a THR.
PMCID: PMC2654855  PMID: 19208230
22.  The occurrence of falls among patients with a new episode of hip pain 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1998;57(3):166-168.
OBJECTIVES—To establish the risk of falling among those who consult their general practitioner with a new episode of hip pain and to discover if risk is altered by age and according to whether, at presentation, signs of osteoarthritis are present on radiography.
METHODS—A case-control study was conducted. Cases were all patients who presented with a new episode of hip pain to participating general practices throughout the United Kingdom. All cases had a pelvic radiograph taken on recruitment to the study. Three controls were matched for sex, age, and general practice to each case. A questionnaire was sent by post to all cases and controls. The risk of having fallen in the past 12 months among cases and controls was compared.
RESULTS—The study included 111 cases presenting with hip pain and 229 controls who had not consulted with hip pain in the previous 12 months. Women (odds ratio = 3.6, 95% CI 1.9, 6.7) but not men (odds ratio = 0.8, 95% CI 0.3, 2.3) reported an increased risk of falling in the previous 12 months. Similar results were obtained when the previous four months were considered. For all cases, hip pain predated any reported falls. The increased risk in women was found particularly for those aged less than 70. Risk of falling was not altered by the presence of radiological changes of osteoarthritis.
CONCLUSIONS—Hip pain, which may be a symptom of osteoarthritis of the hip, increases the risk of falling. This finding has implications for the advice offered by general practitioners to patients who consult with early hip pain.

 Keywords: falls; hip osteoarthritis; general practice
PMCID: PMC1752555  PMID: 9640133
Annals of internal medicine  2010;152(5):287-295.
Leg length inequality is common in the general population and may accelerate development of knee osteoarthritis.
To determine if leg length inequality is associated with prevalent, incident and progressive knee osteoarthritis,
Prospective observational cohort study.
Subjects recruited from the community in Birmingham, AL and Iowa City, IA
3026 subjects, age 50-79, with or at high risk for knee osteoarthritis.
The exposure was leg length inequality measured from full limb radiographs. The outcomes were prevalent, incident, and progressive knee osteoarthritis. Radiographic osteoarthritis was defined as Kellgren and Lawrence grade ≥2 and symptomatic osteoarthritis was defined as radiographic disease in a consistently painful knee.
Leg length inequality ≥1 cm was associated with prevalent radiographic (53% vs. 36%, OR 1.9, 95%CI 1.5-2.4) and symptomatic (30% vs. 17%, OR 2.0, 95%CI 1.6-2.6) osteoarthritis in the shorter limb. Inequality ≥1 cm was associated with incident symptomatic osteoarthritis in the shorter (15% vs. 9%, OR 1.7, 95%CI 1.2-2.4) and longer (13% vs. 9%, OR 1.5, 95%CI 1.0-2.1) limb. Inequality ≥1 cm was associated with increased odds (29% vs. 24%, OR 1.3, 95%CI 1.0-1.7) of progressive osteoarthritis in the shorter limb.
The duration of follow-up may not be long enough to adequately identify cases of incidence and progression. Measurements of leg length, including radiographic, have measurement error which could result in misclassification.
Radiographic leg length inequality was associated with prevalent, incident symptomatic and progressive knee osteoarthritis. These results point to leg length inequality as a potentially modifiable risk factor for knee osteoarthritis.
Primary Funding Source
National Institute on Aging
PMCID: PMC2909027  PMID: 20194234
knee osteoarthritis; leg length inequality; epidemiology
24.  A New Approach Yields High Rates of Radiographic Progression in Knee Osteoarthritis 
The Journal of rheumatology  2008;35(10):2047-2054.
Progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA) has typically been assessed in the medial tibiofemoral (TF) compartment on the anteroposterior (AP) or posteroanterior (PA) view. We propose a new approach using multiple views and compartments that is likely to be more sensitive to change and reveals progression throughout the knee.
We tested our approach in the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study, a study of persons with OA or at high risk of disease. At baseline and 30 months, subjects provided PA (fixed flexion without fluoro) and lateral weight-bearing knee radiographs. Paired radiographs were read by 2 readers who scored joint space (JS) using a 0–3 atlas-based scale. When JS narrowed but narrowing did not reach a full grade on the scale, readers used half-grades. Change was scored in medial and lateral TF compartments on both PA and lateral views and in the patellofemoral (PF) joint on lateral view. A knee showed progression when there was at least a half-grade worsening in JS width in any compartment at followup. Disagreements were adjudicated by a panel of 3 readers. To validate progression, we tested definitions for TF progression to see if malalignment on long-limb radiographs at baseline (≥ 3° malaligned in any direction with nonmalaligned knees being reference) increased risk of progression. A valid definition of progression would show that malalignment strongly predicted progression.
We studied 842 knees with either Kellgren-Lawrence grade ≥ 2 or PF OA at baseline in 606 subjects (age range 50–79 yrs, mean 63.9 yrs; 66.6% women). Mean body mass index was 31.9, and 32.8% of knees had frequent knee pain at baseline. Of these, 500 knees (59.4%) showed progression. Of the 500, 75 (15%) had progression only in the PF joint, while the remainder had progression in the TF joint. Malalignment increased the risk of overall progression in TF joint and increased the risk of half-grade progression, suggesting that half-grade progression had validity.
PA and lateral views obtained in persons at high risk of OA progression can produce a cumulative incidence of progression above 50% at 30 months. Keys to increasing the yield include imaging PF and lateral compartments, using semiquantitative scales designed to detect change, and examining more than one radiographic view.
PMCID: PMC2758234  PMID: 18793000
Osteoarthritis; Knee; Radiography
25.  Radiographic patterns and associations of osteoarthritis of the hip. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1992;51(10):1111-1116.
A number of patterns of osteoarthritis of the hip are described, though studies are conflicting with respect to the frequency of such patterns and their associations. Two hundred and eleven patients (133 women, 78 men; mean age 66 years, range 29-86) referred to hospital with osteoarthritis of the hip were studied. Involvement was unilateral in 108 (51%) and bilateral in 89 (42%); 14 (7%) had undergone arthroplasty and were presenting with osteoarthritis hips). Sixty one per cent of hips had severe, 28% moderate, and 11% mild changes (Kellgren grade). Superior pole migration occurred in 82% (46% superolateral, 25% intermediate, 11% superomedial), medial/axial migration occurred in only 8%, and in 10% the pattern was indeterminate. In bilateral osteoarthritis of the hip the pattern was generally symmetrical. Superomedial and medial/axial patterns were proportionately more common in women, whereas superlateral osteoarthritis predominated in men. No association was found between multiple clinical nodes, radiographic polyarticular interphalangeal or first carpometacarpal osteoarthritis and any migration pattern. Any interphalangeal osteoarthritis was negatively associated with medial migration. Only 40% of hips could be categorised as hypertrophic or atrophic; chondrocalcinosis at any site was associated with atrophic osteoarthritis; no associations were seen with Forestier's disease. This large survey confirms the association between chondrocalcinosis and atrophic osteoarthritis of the hip. Importantly it suggests that gender, rather than associated osteoarthritis at other sites, is a major determinant of the pattern of osteoarthritis of the hip.
PMCID: PMC1012414  PMID: 1444623

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