Investigating acute changes in osteoarthritic cartilage by integrating biomechanics and statistical shape models of bone: data from the osteoarthritis initiative Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Objective

    This proof-of-principle study integrates joint reaction forces (JRFs) and bone shape to assess acute cartilage changes from walking and cycling.


    Sixteen women with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis were recruited. Biomechanical assessment estimated JRFs during walking and cycling. Subsamples had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed before and after a 25-min walking (n = 7) and/or cycling (n = 9) activity. MRI scans were obtained to assess cartilage shape and composition (T2 relaxation time). Bone shape was quantified using a statistical shape model built from 13 local participants and 100 MRI scans from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Statistical parametric mapping quantified cartilage change and correlations between cartilage change with JRFs and statistical shape model features.


    Cartilage thickness (interior lateral, Δ - 0.10 mm) and T2 (medial, Δ - 4 ms) decreased on the tibial plateau. On the femur, T2 change depended on the activity. Greater tibiofemoral JRF was associated with more cartilage deformation on the lateral femoral trochlea after walking (r - 0.56). Knees more consistent with osteoarthritis showed smaller decreases in tibial cartilage thickness.


    Walking and cycling caused distinct patterns of cartilage deformation, which depended on knee JRFs and bone morphology. For the first time, these results show that cartilage deformation is dependent on bone shapes and JRFs in vivo.

publication date

  • October 2022