Relationship between tibial spine size and the occurrence of osteochondritis dissecans: an argument in favour of the impingement theory
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Pathophysiology of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the medial femoral condyle remains uncertain. Specifically, the relationship between the size of the anterior tibial spine (ATS) and the presence of OCD has not been explored. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between ATS size and the occurrence of OCD.
Seventy-nine children between 8 and 17 years of age were included in two groups: OCD (n = 37) and control (n = 42). The groups were matched in terms of age, gender, BMI and weight. Two independent observers performed an MRI analysis of the size of the tibial spine and intercondylar notch relative to the size of the respective epiphyses. For this study, the “S ratio” was calculated by dividing the height of the tibial spine by the height of the tibial epiphysis. The “N ratio” was calculated by dividing the height of the notch by the height of the femoral epiphysis. These two ratios for both groups were compared using Student’s t test.
The mean value of the S ratio in the OCD group was 0.39 ± 0.06; the mean value of the S ratio in the control group was 0.32 ± 0.03 (P = 0.004). The mean value of the N ratio in the OCD group was 0.70 ± 0.08; the mean value of the N ratio in the control group was 0.70 ± 0.07 (n.s.).
This study’s findings confirm our hypothesis that patients with OCD have a more prominent tibial spine than in patients without OCD.
Level of evidence
KeywordsMedial tibial spine Osteochondritis dissecans Knee Impingement
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
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