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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-99

Ultrasonographic morphological changes in the prefemoral fat pad associated with knee osteoarthritis


1 Department of Rehabilitation, Akita City Hospital; Department of Physical Therapy, Akita University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Akita, Japan
2 Department of Physical Therapy, Akita University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Akita, Japan
3 Division of Rehabilitation, Ugo Municipal Hospital, Ugo, Akita, Japan
4 Department of Rehabilitation, Akita City Hospital, Akita, Japan
5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Akita City Hospital, Akita, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kazuyuki Shibata
Department of Rehabilitation, Akita City Hospital, 4-30 Kawamoto-Matsuoka-Cho, Akita 010-0933
Japan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JMU.JMU_15_17

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Background: In normal knees, quadriceps contraction changes the shape of the prefemoral fat pad (PFP). However, in persons with knee osteoarthritis (OA), the functional or morphological changes of the PFP are unclear. This study aimed to clarify the morphological changes in the PFP in individuals with knee OA through ultrasonography. Materials and Methods: Participants were divided into the OA (36 knees; mean age, 74 years), elderly (31 knees; mean age, 70 years), and young (26 knees; mean age, 21 years) groups. The anteroposterior (AP) length of the PFP before and during isometric quadriceps contraction at 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90° knee flexion was measured ultrasonographically. The difference between the maximum and minimum length values, change in length, was also measured. These parameters were compared among the three groups. In the OA group, correlations between the parameters and clinical features (knee pain; visual analog scale, knee range of motion [ROM], Kellgren and Lawrence (K/L) grade, and intercondylar distance) were examined by Spearman and Pearson's correlation coefficient tests. Results: The AP lengths of the PFP before contraction were significantly lower in the OA group than in elderly group and young group at 30° (6.9 ± 2.5 vs. 12.0 ± 3.6 or 11.1 ± 2.7 mm, respectively; in order P = 0.014, P = 0.006) and 60° (6.5 ± 2.0 vs. 9.7 ± 2.5 or 9.1 ± 2.7 mm, respectively; both P < 0.001). The AP lengths of the PFP during contraction were significantly lower in the OA group than in elderly group and young group at 0° (6.7 ± 2.3 vs. 8.8 ± 3.7 or 9.1 ± 1.6 mm, respectively; both P < 0.001), 30° (7.9 ± 2.6 vs. 12.9 ± 3.7 or 13.0 ± 2.6 mm, respectively; both P < 0.001), and 60° (7.1 ± 2.5 vs. 13.5 ± 2.6 or 13.6 ± 3.0 mm, respectively; both P < 0.001). The change in length before maximum isometric quadriceps contraction was significantly lower in the knee OA group than in both elderly and young groups (3.3 ± 1.9 vs. 8.4 ± 2.5 or 6.8 ± 3.0 mm, respectively; both P < 0.001). The change in length during contraction was also significantly lower in the knee OA group than in both the elderly and young groups (3.9 ± 2.3 vs. 8.7 ± 2.3 or 8.9 ± 2.0 mm, respectively; both P < 0.001). In the OA group, change in length during contraction was significantly associated with knee pain (r = −0.476, P = 0.007), knee ROM (r = 0.388, P = 0.019), and Kellgren and Lawrence grade (r = −0.357, P = 0.045). Conclusions: In knee OA, movement of PFP was decreased more than healthy participants. In the knee OA group, the decrease of the morphological change of the PFP showed the relationship between VAS score, knee extension ROM, intercondylar distance (ICD), and K/L grade. An evaluation to the PFP may be required in individuals with knee OA.


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