The association between patellar alignment and patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis features - An MRI study

L. Kalichman, Y. Zhang, J. Niu, J. Goggins, D. Gale, D. T. Felson, D. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Objective. The aim of our study was to evaluate the association between patellar alignment (using standard MRI images of extended knees) and MRI indices of patellofemoral (PF) osteoarthritis (OA) features. Methods. In this cross-sectional observational study, subjects were recruited to participate in the Boston Osteoarthritis of the Knee Study (BOKS). The association of patellar alignment [patellar length ratio (PLR), sulcus angle (SA), lateral patellar tilt angle (LPTA) and bisect offset (BO)] with measures of PF OA [cartilage morphology and bone marrow lesion (BML) in the medial and lateral PF compartment] were examined using a logistic regression model while adjusting for age, sex and BMI. Results. Study sample comprised 126 males (mean age 68.0, BMI 31.2) and 87 females (mean age 64.7, BMI 31.6). All measurements of patellar alignment were statistically significantly associated with cartilage morphology and BML in the lateral compartment of PF joint. PLR and SA were significantly associated with medial cartilage loss. With increasing PLR there was an increased prevalence of lateral and medial cartilage loss as well as of lateral BML. Increasing SA was positively associated with increased lateral and medial cartilage loss and lateral BML. LPTA range was negatively associated with lateral cartilage loss and BML. More laterally displaced patella (higher BO) was associated with increased lateral cartilage loss and BML. Conclusions. The results of our study clearly indicated that patellar alignment is associated with manifestations of PF OA such as cartilage thickness loss and BML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1308
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow lesion
  • Cartilage
  • Knee
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Patellar alignment
  • Patellofemoral joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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