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Cartilage Loss Highly Variable Among Arthroplasty Patients

Stronger correlation with alignment for tibia than the femur

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Loss of cartilage varies widely among patients with advanced osteoarthritis prior to knee arthroplasty, and a loss of cartilage at the tibia, not the femur, is associated with alignment, according to a study published in the January issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Ruediger von Eisenhart-Rothe, M.D., of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study of 26 patients aged 58 to 86 years with a clinical indication for total knee arthroplasty and used magnetic resonance image data to determine quantitative endpoints of cartilage morphology. Full limb radiographs were used to assess the static alignment of the knee.

There was a wide variation in the magnitude of cartilage loss within the knee and alignment was more closely correlated with cartilage loss at the tibia than for the femur. The study revealed some evidence of an association between loss of the patellar cartilage and knee alignment.

"These findings stimulate further research on the mechanism and cause-effect relation of alignment and knee osteoarthritis using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging technology," the authors conclude.

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