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8th Combined Meeting Of Orthopaedic Research Societies (CORS)



The quantification of T1Rho relaxation times is not related with internal loading. Improvements in modeling and imaging techniques might lead to better understanding of the pathomechanics of the knee.


The onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis has been associated with an increased external knee adduction moment (EKAM). However, this external measure has no direct relationship with internal loading of the knee. For a better understanding of the pathomechanics of the knee musculoskeletal models could be used to relate external and internal knee loading. Consequently, high internal loading might cause cartilage degeneration in patients with OA. T1RhoMRI can detect changes in proteoglycan content and is therefore a non-invasive measure of cartilage degeneration in knee OA. The purpose of this study was to relate internal loading of the knee simulated by musculoskeletal models with cartilage health using T1rhoMRI.

Patients & Methods

Preliminary results showed data of seven women (50–65yrs), four healthy and three OA. Subjects underwent 3D gait analysis (VICON Nexus) at comfortable walking speed, EKAM was calculated. Simulations of multi-body musculoskeletal models were driven based on the motion capture data, in order to calculate internal medial-lateral knee forces (MLforce). Besides a T1RhoMRI scan of the knee (Phillips 3T) provided cartilage health of the midsection of the medial condyle according to Pedersen et al, 2011 [4]. Differences between healthy and OA were tested with a one sided T-test, correlations between EKAM and MLforce were calculated.


Anthropometrics and walking speed showed no significantly different between OA patients and healthy controls. OA patients had significant larger EKAM and MLforce (p<0.05). T1Rho values were not significantly different between the groups. EKAM was positively correlated with MLforce (R2=0.91, p<0.05) in healthy subjects, no association was found in knee OA patients (R2 < 0.01)

Discussion / Conclusion

The current study demonstrates that external loading of the knee does not predict internal loading in knee OA patients. We did not find a significant effect of knee OA on cartilage quality assessed by T1Rho MRI. However a non-significant increase was visible at the posterior region of the femoral condyle in OA patients. This elevated T1Rho relaxation is in line with expectations and could be related to an increased cartilage degeneration.