Do knee moments normalized to measures of knee cartilage area better classify the severity of knee osteoarthritis?
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© 2015 Human Kinetics, Inc. Investigations of joint loading in knee osteoarthritis (OA) typically normalize the knee adduction moment to global measures of body size (eg, body mass, height) to allow comparison between individuals. However, such measurements may not reflect knee size. This study used a morphometric measurement of the cartilage surface area on the medial tibial plateau, which better represents medial knee size. This study aimed to determine whether normalizing the peak knee adduction moment and knee adduction moment impulse during gait to the medial tibial bone-cartilage interface could classify radiographic knee OA severity more accurately than traditional normalization techniques. Individuals with mild (N = 22) and severe (N = 17) radiographic knee OA participated. The medial tibial bone-cartilage interface was quantified from magnetic resonance imaging scans. Gait analysis was performed, and the peak knee adduction moment and knee adduction moment impulse were calculated in nonnormalized units and normalized to body mass, body weight × height, and the medial tibial bone-cartilage interface. Receiver operating characteristic curves compared the ability of each knee adduction moment normalization technique to classify participants according to radiographic disease severity. No normalization technique was superior at distinguishing between OA severities. Knee adduction moments normalized to medial knee size were not more sensitive to OA severity.