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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2003 Jan;85(1):95-9.

The knee-spine syndrome. Association between lumbar lordosis and extension of the knee.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba City, Japan.


Degenerative changes of the knee often cause loss of extension. This may affect aspects of posture such as lumbar lordosis. A total of 366 patients underwent radiological examination of the lumbar spine in a standing position. The knee and body angles were measured by physical examination using a goniometer. Limitation of extension of the knee was significantly greater in patients whose lumbar lordosis was 30 degrees or less. Lumbar lordosis was significantly reduced in patients whose limitation of extension of the knee was more than 5 degrees. It decreased over the age of 70 years, and the limitation of extension of the knee increased over the age of 60 years. Our study indicates that symptoms from the lumbar spine may be caused by degenerative changes in the knee. This may be called the 'knee-spine syndrome'.

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