(HealthDay News) – For patients with osteoarthritis (OA), knees affected by more severe patellofemoral (PF) disease have distinct features from those of patients with tibiofemoral (TF) OA in isolation or in combination with mild PF disease, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Shawn Farrokhi, P.T., Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues obtained radiographic views of 167 patients with TFOA to assess the correlation between severity of coexisting PF disease with lower limb impairments and functional limitations.

Compared to patients with no PFOA, the researchers found that moderate/severe PFOA correlated with lower knee extension strength. Patients with moderate/severe PFOA had significantly lower total knee range of motion compared to patients with no or mild PFOA. Moderate/severe PFOA was also associated with greater difficulty going down stairs (odds ratio, 2.9), and both moderate/severe and mild PFOA correlated with less pain when standing (odds ratio for both, 0.2).

“It appears that knees with more severe coexisting PF disease demonstrate features distinct from those observed in TFOA in isolation or in combination with mild PF disease,” the authors write. “Treatment strategies targeting the PF joint may be warranted to mitigate the specific lower limb impairments and functional problems present in this patient population.”

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