The morphology of proximal tibiofibular joint (PTFJ) predicts incident radiographic osteoarthritis: data from Osteoarthritis Initiative

J. Chang, Z. Zhu, W. Han, Y. Zhao, C. K. Kwoh, J. A. Lynch, D. J. Hunter, C. Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether the morphology of proximal tibiofibular joint (PTFJ) is associated with increased risk of incident radiographic osteoarthritis (iROA) over 4 years in the OA Initiative (OAI) study. Methods: A nested matched case–control study design was used to select participants from OAI study. Case knees were defined as those with iROA. Control knees were matched one-to-one by sex, age and radiographic status with case knees. T2-weighted MR images were assessed at P0 (the visit when incident ROA was found on radiograph), P1 (1 year prior to P0) and at OAI baseline. The contacting area of PTFJ (S) and its projection areas onto the horizontal (load-bearing area, Sτ), sagittal (lateral stress-bolstering area, Sφ) and coronal plane (posterior stress-bolstering area, Sυ) were assessed, respectively. Results: 354 case knees and 354 matched control knees were included, with a mean age of 60 and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 28 kg/m2. Baseline PTFJ morphological parameters (S, Sτ and Sυ) were significantly associated with iROA over 4 years, and these associations remained unchanged after adjustment for BMI, number of knee bending activities, self-reported knee injury and surgery. S, Sτ and Sυ were also significantly associated with iROA at P1 and P0. In subgroup analysed, S, Sτ and Sυ were associated with risks of incident joint space narrowing in the medial, but not the lateral tibiofemoral compartment. Conclusion: Greater contacting area, load-bearing area and posterior stress-bolstering area of PTFJ were associated with increased risks of iROA, largely in the medial tibiofemoral compartment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Magnetic resonance image (MRI)
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Proximal tibiofibular joint (PTFJ)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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