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Physical activity and knee structural change: A longitudinal study using MRI


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Foley, SJ, Ding, C, Cicuttini, F and Jones, G 2007 , 'Physical activity and knee structural change: A longitudinal study using MRI' , Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 39, no. 3 , pp. 426-434 , doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802d97c6.

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Exercise therapy is effective in improving symptoms
of knee osteoarthritis, but its effect on structural change remains unclear. Purpose: To describe the associations between physical
activity and structural changes of the knee joint as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in adult male and female subjects.
Methods: A convenience sample of 325 subjects (mean age 45 yr, range 26–61) was measured at baseline and approximately 2 yr
later. Measures of physical activity included questionnaire items, physical work capacity (PWC170), and lower-limb muscle strength.
Knee cartilage volume, tibial plateau area, and cartilage defect score (0–4) were determined using T1-weighted fat saturation MRI.
Results: Lower-limb muscle strength at baseline was positively associated with both percent-per-year changes in total cartilage
volume (r = 0.13) and lateral and total tibial plateau area (r = 0.15 and 0.17) but not other sites. Change in muscle strength was
negatively associated with annual changes in lateral and total tibial plateau area (r = j0.13 and j0.17). In females only, PWC170 at
baseline was negatively associated with percent-per-year changes in lateral and total cartilage volume (r = j0.16 and j0.17) and
positively for lateral and total tibial plateau area (r = 0.18 and 0.16). Conversely, change in PWC170 was positively associated with
changes in cartilage volume at all sites (r = 0.24–0.26). For all associations, P G 0.05. Conclusions: Overall, these associations were
modest in magnitude, but they suggest that knee cartilage volume and tibial plateau area are dynamic structures that can respond to
physical stimuli. Greater muscle strength and endurance fitness, especially in women, may be protective against cartilage loss, but it
also may result in a maladaptive enlargement of subchondral bone in both sexes, suggesting that physical activity may have both good
and bad effects on the knee.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Foley, SJ and Ding, C and Cicuttini, F and Jones, G
Keywords: Knee cartilage, Subchondral Bone Area, Cartilage Defects, Fitness
Journal or Publication Title: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
ISSN: 0195-9131
DOI / ID Number: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802d97c6
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