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ACR: Quadriceps Strength May Prevent Cartilage Loss

Quadriceps strength does not worsen cartilage loss at tibiofemoral joint

TUESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Quadriceps strength may prevent cartilage loss at the patellofemoral joint among patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Washington, D.C. While there was concern that quadriceps strength could be deleterious to the tibiofemoral joint, the new research also shows that it does not worsen cartilage loss at this site.

Shreyasee Amin, M.D., at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues followed 265 men and women with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis for 30 months. They measured quadriceps strength at the outset of the study and assessed cartilage loss at the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints with magnetic resonance imaging at the study's inception, at 15 months and at 30 months.

There was no association between quadriceps strength and cartilage loss at the tibiofemoral joint, but greater quadriceps strength protected against cartilage loss at the lateral compartment of the patellofemoral joint.

"Those with better quadriceps strength were less likely to lose cartilage behind the knee cap," Amin said in a statement. "This makes sense, as a stronger quadriceps would be better able to keep the knee cap from moving laterally and tracking abnormally with joint movement."

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