Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

The relationship between bone area and knee replacement


Total knee replacement is viewed as the ultimate clinical outcome of osteoarthritis (OA) and is effective in managing symptoms and improving function. It is however very costly, with a single replacement costing approximately £6000.Therefore, delaying surgery by a few years or reducing the number of knee replacements would be of socio-economic benefit.

Knee OA is associated with joint structural changes, and although radiography is the current standard diagnostic measure to determine the need for a replacement, it is insensitive to change, inaccurate and only allows 2-dimensional assessment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows for a more comprehensive imaging of joint structures and structural changes over time. It is a non-invasive technique and has been shown to be more accurate and sensitive than radiography.

What the research hopes to achieve

The research aims to use a novel 3-dimensional (3-D) measure of bone area, obtained through statistical shape modelling of knee images obtained from MRI. Using 3D bone area, the aim is to evaluate if this measure can predict the onset of knee replacement and whether there is any association between the bone area measures and occurrence of knee replacements, in order to validate this new measure against current standards. Models will be constructed to predict knee replacements, and will include other baseline factors so as to assess the value of 3D bone area in predicting knee replacement.

Work Package Biomarkers (WP2) 
Principal Investigator  Prof Philip Conaghan (University of Leeds)
Investigator  Bright Dube 
Collaborator  Imorphics Ltd (Manchester)