The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 23, Issue: 1, Page: 29-34

Epidemiological characteristics of patellofemoral osteoarthritis in elderly Koreans and its symptomatic contribution in knee osteoarthritis

Cho, Hyung Joon; Gn, Kiran Kumar; Kang, Jong Yeal; Suh, Kuen Tak; Kim, Tae Kyun


  • Overall prevalence of PF OA is common, but the isolated PF OA is relatively rare.
  • Female sex, aging, and obesity were not associated with isolated PF OA.
  • Isolated PF OA does not seem to contribute to the presence of knee symptoms.





Many studies have reported the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) but have invariably focused on the tibiofemoral (TF) joint and overlooked the patellofemoral (PF) joint. Accordingly, little epidemiological information is available regarding the PF OA. The purpose of the current study was to document the epidemiological characteristics of PF OA in elderly Koreans.


Radiographic assessment was performed for 681 elderly (≥65 years old) Koreans recruited from a community, and symptom severity was evaluated using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index (WOMAC) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) scales. Prevalence of different categories of knee OA (isolated PF OA, isolated TF OA and combined PF and TF OA) was calculated. The symptoms of isolated PF OA group and non-OA group were compared.


The overall prevalence of OA was 22.0% in the PF compartment and 34.1% in the TF compartment. The prevalence of isolated PF OA, isolated TF OA, and combined PF and TF OA was 3.8%, 17.8%, and 19.2%, respectively. Female sex, aging, and obesity were not associated with isolated PF OA. No significant differences were found in any clinical outcome scales between the isolated PF and non-OA groups.


This study documents that OA in the PF joint is common in elderly Koreans, but isolated PF OA is rare. Demographic risk factors are not associated with isolated PF OA, suggesting that isolated PF OA may have a different pathophysiology from other types of knee OA. Our study also indicates that the presence of isolated PF OA should not be construed to be responsible for clinical symptoms.

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