The relationships between bone mineral density in the spine, hip, distal femur and proximal tibia and medial minimum joint space width in the knees of healthy females
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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationships between bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip, spine, distal femur and proximal tibia and minimum joint space width (mJSW) in the knees of healthy women. METHODS: Women 22-68 years old without a history of knee pain, bone or joint disease or injury underwent a single, fixed-flexion knee X-ray. Radiographs were graded according to the Kellgren-Lawrence scale and analyzed for mJSW using a computer algorithm. Dual X-ray absorptiometry scans of the spine, hip, distal femur and proximal tibia were also acquired for each participant. Femur and tibia scans were acquired and analyzed using a modified version of the lumbar spine software. RESULTS: Forty-five females, mean [standard deviation (SD)] age and body mass index (BMI) of 40.1 (13.9) years and 24.6 (4.5)kg/m(2), respectively, participated. The mean (SD) mJSW was 4.64 (0.68)mm. Linear regression analyses controlling for age and BMI revealed that BMD in the femoral trochanter and the central two regions of the tibia (T2 and T3) was significantly related to mJSW in the knee. A backwards regression analysis performed to determine which region of interest is most significantly related to mJSW revealed that femoral trochanter BMD (beta-value=0.416) is the most significant. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the suggestion that BMD is negatively correlated with mJSW in the knees of osteoarthritic individuals, these results suggest that increasing BMD in the femoral trochanter and tibia is significantly associated with increasing mJSW in healthy females. Further investigation of this relationship is warranted.
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