The knee adduction moment and knee osteoarthritis symptoms: relationships according to radiographic disease severity

M. Hall, K. L. Bennell, T. V. Wrigley, Ben R Metcalf, P. K. Campbell, J. Kasza, K L Paterson, D. J. Hunter, Rana S Hinman

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To investigate relationships between external knee adduction moment parameters (KAM) and osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms according to disease severity. Design 164 participants with symptomatic medial knee OA were included. Radiographic severity was graded by (1) Kellgren & Lawrence (KL) scale (Grade 2, n = 49; Grade, n = 52; Grade 4, n = 63) and; (2) medial tibiofemoral joint space narrowing (JSN) (Grade 1, n = 47; Grade 2, n = 50; Grade 3, n = 67). KAM-related parameters (peak KAM, KAM impulse and cumulative load) were determined from three-dimensional gait analysis and pedometry. Cumulative load was determined by multiplying KAM impulse by the average number of steps/day recorded over at least 5 days. Symptoms were assessed via numeric rating scale ((NRS), pain) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index (pain and physical function). Relationships between KAM parameters (independent variables) and symptoms (dependent variables) were evaluated by radiographic severity using linear models, adjusting for covariates. Results In mild disease (either KL Grade 2 or JSN Grade 1), there were no associations between KAM and symptoms. In moderate disease of KL Grade 3, higher KAM impulse was associated with greater WOMAC pain. In severe disease (KL Grade 4), higher KAM impulse was associated with less WOMAC pain (KL Grade 4), while higher peak KAM was associated with better function (KL Grade 4). Higher cumulative knee adduction load was associated with less pain on both NRS and WOMAC (JSN Grade 3) as well as better function (both JSN Grade 3 and KL Grade 4). Conclusions Relationships between KAM-related parameters and symptoms differ according to underlying radiographic OA severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Disease severity
  • Knee joint loading
  • Pain
  • Physical function

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