Knee Asymmetries Identified Early in Unilateral Hip OA

Loading and structural asymmetries identified early in disease course, when knee is asymptomatic

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with unilateral hip osteoarthritis (OA), loading and structural asymmetries appear in the contralateral knee early in the disease course, when the knees are asymptomatic, according to a study published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Najia Shakoor, M.D., from Rush Medical College in Chicago, and colleagues examined early asymmetries in knee loading in 62 patients with unilateral hip OA, without any symptoms of knee OA. Bone mineral density (BMD) was determined in both knees through dual X-ray absorptiometry and gait analyses of dynamic knee loads, and was compared between the knees.

The investigators found that the contralateral knee had significantly higher peak dynamic knee loads than the ipsilateral knee. Similarly, the contralateral knee had significantly higher medial compartment tibial BMD than the ipsilateral knee. There was a direct correlation between the ratio of contralateral and ipsilateral dynamic knee load and the ratio of contralateral and ipsilateral medial compartment tibial BMD.

"This study provides some evidence that in the contralateral knees of patients with unilateral hip OA, which are at high risk of developing progressive symptomatic OA, loading and structural asymmetries appear early in the disease course, while the knees are still asymptomatic," the authors write.

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