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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1998 May;80(3):432-6.

The influence of osteoporosis on varus osteoarthritis of the knee.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Gunma University School of Medicine, Japan.


We studied 37 patients with varus osteoarthritis of the knee to determine the influence of the bone mineral density (BMD) on the varus deformity. There were 15 men (21 knees) and 22 women (38 knees). The mean age of the men was 69 years and of the women 68 years. BMD was measured in the L1-L4 spinal region using dual X-ray absorptiometry. In the women a low level of BMD was associated with varus deformity originating at the proximal tibia, but a high level was predominantly linked with deformity originating in the joint space. Similar findings were obtained in the men. Our results suggest that a low BMD predisposes to trabecular microfractures and consequently increased stress on the articular cartilage. A low BMD does not preclude osteoarthritic change in the knee.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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