Ultrasonographic measurement of the femoral cartilage thickness in patients with transfemoral amputation

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2016 Nov 21;29(4):841-844. doi: 10.3233/BMR-160697.


Objective: To compare the distal femoral cartilage thickness of the non-amputee sides in patients who had unilateral transfemoral amputation with those of healthy subjects by using ultrasound.

Methods: Thirty transfemoral amputees (27 male, 3 female) and 30 age-, sex-, and body mass index-matched healthy controls were included. Functional usage of the prosthesis was evaluated by using Houghton score. The cartilage thickness was measured from the following midpoints; medial femoral condyle (MFC), intercondylar area, and lateral femoral condyle.

Results: Thirty patients with unilateral transfemoral amputation (mean age; 38.6 ± 9.5 years) and 30 healthy controls (mean age; 38.4 ± 9.4 years) were included. Although femoral cartilage thicknesses were found to be lower for all measurements in the amputees, the difference reached significance only in the MFC (p= 0.031). In the patient group, cartilage thickness values did not correlate with age, duration of amputation, daily walking time, stump length or Houghton score.

Conclusion: The distal femoral cartilage thickness seems to be decreased medially on the non-amputee sides of the transfemoral amputees when compared with the healthy subjects. Further studies concerning the follow-up designs, functional parameters and osteoarthritis scales are awaited.

Keywords: Femoral cartilage; medial femoral condyle; transfemoral amputation; ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amputees*
  • Cartilage, Articular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male