The association between radiographic severity and pre-operative function in patients undergoing primary knee replacement for osteoarthritis

Michelle Dowsey, Paul A Dieppe, Stefan Lohmander, David Jonathan Castle, Danny Liew, Peter F.M. Choong

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the association between radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) and pre-operative function in patients undergoing primary knee replacement. Methods: Single centre study examining pre-operative outcomes in a consecutive series of 525 patients who underwent primary knee replacement for OA between January 2006 and December 2007. Pre-operative data included: demographics, American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) status and OA in the contralateral knee. The International Knee Society (IKS) rating and Short Form-12 (SF-12) were recorded for each patient. Pre-operative radiographs were read by a single observer for Kellgren and Lawrence (K&L) grading and Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) atlas features. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the strength of associations between radiographic OA severity and function, adjusting for clinically relevant variables. Results: Lateral tibiofemoral osteophyte grade was an independent predictor of pre-operative function as determined by the functional sub-scale of the IKS in patients undergoing primary knee replacement (coefficient = 2.58, p = 0.033). No associations were evident between pre-operative function and modified K&L, joint space narrowing, Ahlbäck attrition and coronal plane deformity. Other statistically significant predictors of poorer pre-operative function included: advancing age, female gender, knee pain and poorer SF-12 mental component summary scores which including osteophyte grade accounted for 24.6% of the variation in functional scores, (r = 0.496). Conclusion: Osteophytes in the lateral compartment of the knee were associated with pre-operative function in patients with advanced knee OA. Further studies are required which examine individual radiographic features specifically in patients with advanced knee OA to determine their relationship to pre-operative pain and function. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-865
Number of pages6
JournalThe Knee
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pre-operative function
  • Radiographic OA severity
  • Total knee replacement

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