Objectives It has been hypothesized that patellofemoral pain, a common knee condition in adolescents and young adults, may be a precursor of degenerative joint changes and may ultimately lead to patellofemoral osteoarthritis. Since both conditions share several mechanical disease characteristics, such as altered contact area between the femur and patella and increased joint stress, we investigated whether these conditions share similar and different shape characteristics of the patella compared with normal controls. Methods This cross-sectional study compared three different study populations: 32 patellofemoral pain subjects (mean age, 32 years (22 to 45); 72% female); 56 isolated radiological patellofemoral osteoarthritis subjects (mean age, 54 years (44 to 58); 89% female); and 80 healthy control subjects (mean age, 52 years (44 to 58); 74% female). Measurements included questionnaires, and lateral and skyline radiographs of the knee. Two separate 30-point 2D statistical shape models of the patella were created from the lateral and skyline radiographs. A general linear model was used to test for differences in standardized shape modes (a specific shape variant of the patella) between patellofemoral osteoarthritis, patellofemoral pain, and controls, using Bonferroni correction and adjustment for body mass index and gender. Results Five shape modes showed statistically significant differences between groups: skyline modes 1 (p < 0.001), 8 (p = 0.004), and 10 (p < 0.001); and lateral modes 5 (p = 0.002) and 7 (p = 0.002). Skyline mode 8 and lateral mode 5 were similar for patellofemoral osteoarthritis and patellofemoral pain populations, while being statistically significant different from the control group. Conclusion Our results indicate that patellofemoral pain and patellofemoral osteoarthritis share similar shape characteristics, which are different from control subjects. These findings support the proposed continuum disease model of patellofemoral pain predisposing to the development of patellofemoral osteoarthritis.

doi.org/10.1302/2046-3758.79.BJR-2018-0112.R1, hdl.handle.net/1765/110865
Bone and Joint Research
Netherlands Institute for Health Science (NIHES)

Eijkenboom, J.F.A. (J. F.A.), Waarsing, J., Oei, E., Bierma-Zeinstra, S., & van Middelkoop, M. (2018). Is patellofemoral pain a precursor to osteoarthritis?. Bone and Joint Research, 7(9), 541–547. doi:10.1302/2046-3758.79.BJR-2018-0112.R1