Objectives: The aim of the study was to detect cartilage defects and determine the center of these defects in MR imaging of the patellofemoral joint (PFJ) in middle-aged people with chronic knee pain.
Design: In the format of a prospective study of early osteoarthritis (OA), this cross-sectional study of the signal knee (the most painful one at inclusion in the study in 1990) in 59 individuals, 30 women and 29 men (aged 41-58 years, mean 50 years) with chronic knee pain, with or without radiographically determined knee OA, was examined using MR imaging on a 1.0 T imager. Cartilage defects and the center of these defects in the PFJ were recorded.
Results: Cartilage defects were found more often in the patella (40 knees) than in the femoral trochlea (23 knees) (P<0.001) and were unevenly distributed in the patella (P<0.001), with most cartilage defects in the mid-patella.
Conclusions: Since cartilage defects occur more commonly in the mid-patella, radiographs obtained with a knee flexion of approximately 45 degrees may be more accurate to show cartilage defects of early OA of the PFJ than views with another knee flexion.