Relationships between in vivo dynamic knee joint loading, static alignment and tibial subchondral bone microarchitecture in end-stage knee osteoarthritis

B Roberts, L Solomon, G Mercer, K Reynolds, D Thewlis, E Perilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study, in end-stage knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients, relationships between indices of in vivo dynamic knee joint loads obtained pre-operatively using gait analysis, static knee alignment, and the subchondral trabecular bone (STB) microarchitecture of their excised tibial plateau quantified with 3D micro-CT. Design: Twenty-five knee OA patients scheduled for total knee arthroplasty underwent pre-operative gait analysis. Mechanical axis deviation (MAD) was determined radiographically. Following surgery, excised tibial plateaus were micro-CT-scanned and STB microarchitecture analysed in four subregions (anteromedial, posteromedial, anterolateral, posterolateral). Regional differences in STB microarchitecture and relationships between joint loading and microarchitecture were examined. Results: STB microarchitecture differed among subregions (P < 0.001), anteromedially exhibiting highest bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and lowest structure model index (SMI). Anteromedial BV/TV and SMI correlated strongest with the peak external rotation moment (ERM; r = −0.74, r = 0.67, P < 0.01), despite ERM being the lowest (by factor of 10) of the moments considered, with majority of ERM measures below accuracy thresholds; medial-to-lateral BV/TV ratios correlated with ERM, MAD, knee adduction moment (KAM) and internal rotation moment (|r|-range: 0.54–0.74). When controlling for walking speed, KAM and MAD, the ERM explained additional 11–30% of the variations in anteromedial BV/TV and medial-to-lateral BV/TV ratio (R2 = 0.59, R2 = 0.69, P < 0.01). Conclusions: This preliminary study suggests significant associations between tibial plateau STB microarchitecture and knee joint loading indices in end-stage knee OA patients. Particularly, anteromedial BV/TV correlates strongest with ERM, whereas medial-to-lateral BV/TV ratio correlates strongest with indicators of medial-to-lateral joint loading (MAD, KAM) and rotational moments. However, associations with ERM should be interpreted with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Bone microarchitecture
  • Gait biomechanics
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Micro-CT
  • Subchondral trabecular bone


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