Objective: To evaluate the association between acute joint injury to the knee and knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Design: Prospective cohort. Sample size = 1,436. Men and women aged 40 years and older participating in the population-based Clearwater Osteoarthritis Study (1988-current) with biennial physical exams including serial radiographs. Radiologically confirmed knee OA = 27%; self-reported knee injury = 11%. Lawrence and Kellgren ordinal scale was used to determine radiological evidence of the study outcome, knee OA. Self-reported history of knee injury was used to determine the study exposure.
Results: Individuals with a history of knee injury were 7.4 (95% C.I. 5.9-9.4) times as likely to develop knee OA than were those individuals who did not have a history of knee injury.
Conclusion: Acute knee joint injury appears to be a risk factor for the development of knee OA. Prevention strategies for OA should be targeted to those individuals with a history of acute knee injury.