BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2019 20:33

Stage-specific meniscal features predict progression of osteoarthritis of the knee: a retrospective cohort study using data from the osteoarthritis initiative

Tsuneo Kawahara, Takahisa Sasho, Takashi Ohnishi and Hideaki Haneishi


In the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, a correlation between meniscal posterior segment injuries and medial meniscal extrusion has been reported, but there have been few reports on the relationship with the meniscal shape. The purpose of this study was to clarify the features of the meniscal shape involved in the progression of knee OA.


Data were obtained from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) database. We defined two sets of subjects. One set included 455 knees of subjects whose OA grade on the Kellgren Lawrence (KL) scale progressed in 24 months from baseline and the other set consisted of 455 knees with no progression. The OA progressed subjects were divided to three groups: the “OA change group”, KL0 and KL1 knees that progressed to KL2 and KL3; the “mild change group”, KL2 knees that progressed to KL3; and the “severe change group”, KL2 and KL3 knees that progressed to KL4. The no progression set was divided into three groups whose OA grade remained unchanged. We used magnetic resonance imaging data and manually measured seven items (longitudinal diameter [LD], anterior wedge thickness, anterior wedge width, posterior wedge width, posterior wedge thickness, anterior wedge angle, posterior wedge angle) from the sagittal slice and the extrusion from the coronal slice. These measurements were compared between knees with and without OA progression.


In the “OA change group” and “mild change group”, the anterior and posterior wedge widths and the extrusion were significantly larger, but the anterior and the posterior wedge angles were significantly smaller. In the “severe change group,” the LD and the extrusion were significantly larger. In each group, there was no uniform tendency for the correlation coefficient of the parameters evaluated.


Our findings suggested (1) a larger meniscal LD at the baseline predicted progression of knee OA after 24 months and (2) a larger meniscal width and smaller meniscal angle predicted progression of knee OA after 24 months.

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