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8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS)



Anatomical variations in hip joint anatomy are associated with both the presence and location of tibiofemoral osteoarthritis (OA).


Variations in hip joint anatomy can alter the moment-generating capacity of the hip abductor muscles, possibly leading to changes in the magnitude and direction of ground reaction force and altered loading at the knee. Through analysis of full-limb anteroposterior radiographs, this study explored the hypothesis that knees with lateral and medial knee OA demonstrate hip geometry that differs from that of control knees without OA.

Patients and Methods

This cross-sectional study is an ancillary to the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST), an observational cohort study of incident and progressive knee OA in community-dwelling men and women, ages 50–79 years. We report on 160 knees with lateral OA (LOA), 168 knees with medial OA (MOA), and 336 controls. All participants with LOA at the baseline MOST visit were included. An equal number of knees with MOA, and twice the number of control knees were then randomly selected. In participants with bilateral eligibility, a single knee was randomly selected so that all participants contributed only one case or one control knee to the analysis. Case knees were identified as having Kellgren/Lawrence (K/L) ≥ 2 with joint space narrowing (JSN) ≥ 1 in the specified compartment with no JSN in the adjoining compartment. Controls had no radiographic OA (K/L=0 or 1 and JSN=0) in either compartment. Hip joint anatomy parameters were assessed from full-limb standing radiographs using custom OsiriX software by an author (AB) blinded to knee OA status, and unreadable radiographs (N = 8) were discarded prior to unblinding. We measured parameters that influence the abductor moment arm of the hip, including: abductor lever arm, femoral offset, femoral neck length, femoral neck-shaft angle, height of hip centre, body weight lever arm, acetabular version, and abductor angle. All hip measurements were taken from the ipsilateral side of the knee in interest. Each variable was then compared independently among the three groups via analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), controlling for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), and followed up with a post-hoc Bonferroni analysis to distinguish pairwise group differences.


The ANCOVA analysis showed a significant difference in height of hip centre (p=0.001), femoral neck-shaft angle (p=0.009), and abductor angle (p=0.001). Compared to controls, knees with LOA had an increased height of hip centre (p=0.001) and knees with MOA had a decreased abductor angle (p=0.046). Compared to knees with MOA, those with LOA had a more valgus neck-shaft angle (p=0.007) and increased abductor angle (p=0.001).


Our study demonstrates that variations in hip geometry that affect the moment-generating capacity of the hip abductors are associated with the presence and compartmental distribution of tibiofemoral OA in the ipsilateral knee. Anatomical arrangements that reduce the hip abductor moment arm are more strongly associated with LOA than with MOA.