Objectives: To determine whether the tibial tuberosity-to-trochlear groove (TT-TG) distance is associated with concurrent patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis (OA)-related structural damage and its worsening on 24-month follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in participants in the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI). Methods: Six hundred subjects (one index knee per participant) were assessed. To evaluate patellofemoral OA-related structural damage, baseline and 24-month semiquantitative MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score (MOAKS) variables for cartilage defects, bone marrow lesions (BMLs), osteophytes, effusion, and synovitis were extracted from available readings. The TT-TG distance was measured in all subjects using baseline MRIs by two musculoskeletal radiologists. The associations between baseline TT-TG distance and concurrent baseline MOAKS variables and their worsening in follow-up MRI were investigated using regression analysis adjusted for variables associated with tibiofemoral and patellofemoral OA. Results: At baseline, increased TT-TG distance was associated with concurrent lateral patellar and trochlear cartilage damages, BML, osteophytes, and knee joint effusion [cross-sectional evaluations; overall odds ratio 95% confidence interval (OR 95% CI): 1.098 (1.045–1.154), p < 0.001]. In the longitudinal analysis, increased TT-TG distance was significantly related to lateral patellar and trochlear cartilage, BML, and joint effusion worsening (overall OR 95% CI: 1.111 (1.056–1.170), p < 0.001). Conclusions: TT-TG distance was associated with simultaneous lateral patellofemoral OA-related structural damage and its worsening over 24 months. Abnormally lateralized tibial tuberosity may be considered as a risk factor for future patellofemoral OA worsening. Key Points: • Excessive TT-TG distance on MRI is an indicator/predictor of lateral-patellofemoral-OA. • TT-TG is associated with simultaneous lateral-patellofemoral-OA (6–17% chance-increase for each millimeter increase). • TT-TG is associated with longitudinal (24-months) lateral-patellofemoral-OA (5–15% chance-increase for each millimeter).
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging