Does increased femoral antetorsion predispose to cartilage lesions of the patellofemoral joint?
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The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there was a relationship between femoral neck antetorsion and the presence and pattern of osteoarthritis of the patellofemoral joint. It was hypothesized that an increased femoral neck antetorsion (1) correlates with osteoarthritic changes of the lateral facet of the patellofemoral joint and (2) correlates with an increased lateral trochlear height and a decreased sulcus angle.
Seventy-eight formalin-embedded cadaveric lower extremities from thirty-nine subjects with a median age of 74 years (range 60–88) were used. Surrounding soft tissues of the lower limb were removed. The femoral neck antetorsion was measured and referenced to the transepicondylar axis and the posterior condylar line. The height of the medial and lateral facet of the trochlea and the sulcus angle was measured. The location and the degree of patellofemoral cartilage degeneration were recorded. A Pearson’s correlation analysis was performed to correlate the femoral neck antetorsion with the measured knee parameters.
No significant correlation could be found between the femoral antetorsion and cartilage degeneration of the lateral patellofemoral joint (n.s.), the height of the lateral trochlea (n.s.) and the sulcus angle (n.s.).
This study could not document that the femoral neck antetorsion and subsequent internal rotation of the distal femur correlated with the degree of degeneration of the lateral facet of the patellofemoral joint. Clinically, femoral internal rotation may play a minor role in the development of lateral patellofemoral joint degeneration.
KeywordsKnee anatomy Femoral antetorsion Patellofemoral joint Osteoarthritis Cartilage damage
We thank Boris Vidovic, a medical student of the University of Cologne, for the drawings.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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