Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Early knee arthritis : symptoms and structure
Author: Jones, Luke D.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the commonest form of lower limb OA with a lifetime risk of over 40%. It is a disease characterised by symptoms such as pain and loss of function. In addition there are typical structural features on both radiographs and MRI. Knee OA represents a spectrum of disease, ranging from early preclinical cartilage change to established full thickness disease. Anteromedial knee OA is a particular phenotype of knee OA where disease is confined to the medial compartment. Whilst end stage arthritis is treated reliably with joint arthroplasty, those with early stage disease are treated with a variety of non- surgical interventions with varying success. This thesis is concerned with understanding the disease of patients that have early radiographic changes but symptoms not controlled by conservative measures. Up to 150 of these patients a year present to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. They have been described as being in the “Treatment Gap”. A series of validation studies were performed to determine the optimal method for diagnosing cartilage defects within the knee. The three commonest diagnostic methods were examined for their validity. Arthroscopic assessments of cartilage lesions demonstrated a moderate level of intra and inter observer reliability. In contrast, radiographs and MRI demonstrated high levels of reliability. When using MRI as a criterion standard, both radiographs and arthroscopic assessment were found to have poor accuracy. Based on the work in this thesis a formal definition of the cartilage changes exhibited in early knee OA was proposed. A cross sectional cohort of 100 patients with the symptoms and radiological features of early knee OA were identified. Their pain and function profile was compared to two comparison groups of patients at the end stage of knee OA (defined by the need for partial or total arthroplasty). In up to 78% of individual cases those with early OA had pain and function profiles as bad as those with end stage disease. The cross sectional symptoms of early knee OA demonstrate a marked discordance with their mild radiographic changes. The same cohort was extended to 125 patients. They were followed over one year with monthly PROM assessments to determine how symptoms change over time. 43% of patients experience a clinical improvement over 12 months, 31% experience a clinical deterioration and 26% remain unchanged. The range in OKS variation over 12 months was on average 12 points, with clinically relevant variation occurring on 45% of monthly measurements. Patients with early knee OA can expect to experience considerable variation in their symptoms over 12 months and this must be considered when planning interventions. A number of patients with early knee OA were noticed to demonstrate medial meniscal extrusion. Using data from the Osteo Arthritis Initiative (OAI) a nested case control study was designed to determine how the presence of meniscal extrusion in an otherwise normal knee affects the risk of developing knee OA over the next 48 months. This demonstrated an Odds Ratio of 3.5, suggesting that meniscal extrusion is a considerable risk factor for the development of OA. The presence of a knee injury or operative intervention to the index meniscus was shown to increase this risk. Many phenotypes of OA are known to demonstrate familial aggregation. In an attempt to determine where the earliest structural changes occur in medial compartment knee OA, a cohort of patients selected only for their family history of the disease were developed. This cohort was compared to spouse controls for the presence of knee OA, as well as meniscal extrusion and long leg alignment. In addition, a functional analysis of their cartilage was performed. This cohort was not shown to be at increased risk of disease compared to controls. Discussion of the possible reasons for this finding is presented. Early knee osteoarthritis is a considerable clinical problem. This thesis has aided the understanding of the condition by firstly defining the radiological description of these patients. Secondly, their cross sectional and longitudinal symptom profile have been described for the first time. In addition, the presence of an extruded meniscus has been demonstrated as a substantial risk factor for the disease. Finally, family history has not been demonstrated as a risk factor for the disease within the limits of the study described here. Future work has been proposed.
Supervisor: Price, Andrew J.; Beard, David J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Orthopaedics ; early adult knee arthritis ; cross sectional symptoms ; longitudinal symptom variation ; knee meniscus ; familial aggregation