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Relationship between the goniometric alignment and articular cartilage damage in knee osteoarthritis

Authors:

H A Amaratunga ,

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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S B Adikari,

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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T L Dassanayake,

Department Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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J Gamage,

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
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H J Suraweera

Orthopedic Unit, Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Introduction Osteoarthritis of the knee is common among the elderly. The alignment of the knee plays an important part in disease progression.

Objectives The aim was to determine the relationship between goniometric measurement of malalignment and gross and histological damage to articular cartilages of osteoarthritic knees.

Methods Anterior plane knee alignment was measured using a handheld metal goniometer in 84 patients awaiting knee replacement. Articular cartilages removed at surgery were stained and examined for macroscopic and microscopic damage which were quantified with macroscopic visual assessment score and Mankins histochemical score, respectively. The relationship between the type of knee angulation and macroscopic and microscopic damage to medial and lateral compartments was analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), and the relationship between the degree of angulation and the degree of damage was determined using multiple linear regression models.

Results Varus knees had markedly higher macroscopic damage scores in the medial than the lateral compartment (p<0.0001), while valgus knees showed the opposite (p<0.0001). The knee angulation, together with age and BMI, predicted 54% of the macroscopic (p<0.0001) and 60% of the microscopic damage (p<0.0001) in varus knees.

Conclusion Anterior plane goniometric knee alignment is a significant predictor of the articular cartilage damage present in an osteoarthritic knee. Goniometric measurement is a valuable tool in assessing the disease severity as it is a simple, safe and cost-effective method.

How to Cite: Amaratunga, H.A. et al., (2017). Relationship between the goniometric alignment and articular cartilage damage in knee osteoarthritis. Ceylon Medical Journal. 62(3), pp.167–174. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v62i3.8520
Published on 25 Sep 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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