Knee osteoarthritis (OA) detrimentally impacts the lives of millions of older Americans through pain and decreased functional ability. Unfortunately, the pathomechanics and associated deviations from joint homeostasis that OA patients experience are not well understood. Alterations in mechanical stress in the knee joint may play an essential role in OA; however, existing literature in this area is limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of an existing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based modeling method to estimate articular cartilage contact area in vivo. Imaging data of both knees were collected on a single subject with no history of knee pathology at three knee flexion angles. Intra-observer reliability and sensitivity studies were also performed to determine the role of operator-influenced elements of the data processing on the results. The method’s articular cartilage contact area estimates were compared with existing contact area estimates in the literature. The method demonstrated an intra-observer reliability of 0.95 when assessed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient and was found to be most sensitive to changes in the cartilage tracings on the peripheries of the compartment. The articular cartilage contact area estimates at full extension were similar to those reported in the literature. The relationships between tibiofemoral articular cartilage contact area and knee flexion were also qualitatively and quantitatively similar to those previously reported. The MRI-based knee modeling method was found to have high intra-observer reliability, sensitivity to peripheral articular cartilage tracings, and agreeability with previous investigations when using data from a single healthy adult. Future studies will implement this modeling method to investigate the role that mechanical stress may play in progression of knee OA through estimation of articular cartilage contact area.
Comparison of MRI-Based Estimates of Articular Cartilage Contact Area in the Tibiofemoral Joint
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Henderson, C. E., Higginson, J. S., and Barrance, P. J. (December 23, 2010). "Comparison of MRI-Based Estimates of Articular Cartilage Contact Area in the Tibiofemoral Joint." ASME. J Biomech Eng. January 2011; 133(1): 014502. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4002938
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