Knee alignment does not predict incident osteoarthritis: The Framingham osteoarthritis study

David J. Hunter, Jingbo Niu, David T. Felson, William F. Harvey, K. Douglas Gross, Paula McCree, Piran Aliabadi, Burton Sack, Yuqing Zhang

The objective of this study was to examine the relationship of knee malalignment to the occurrence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) among subjects without radiographic OA at baseline to determine whether malalignment is a risk factor for incident disease or simply a marker of increasing disease severity.  Subjects in the case population were older and had a higher BMI than the controls. The alignment values were normally distributed and were not different between the cases and the controls. After adjustment for age, sex and BMI, there was no significant increase in incident OA in the highest quartile compared with the lowest quartile category for any of the alignment measures. Similar results were also observed for medial compartment OA.  The authors conclude that baseline knee alignment is not associated with either incident radiographic TF OA or medial TF OA. These results suggest that malalignment is not a risk factor for OA, but rather is a marker of disease severity and/or its progression.

Arthritis and Rheumatism, Volume 56, Issue 4 , Pages 1212 – 1218

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