Relationship between X-ray findings of lumbar spondylosis and knee pain

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019 Aug 17;20(1):379. doi: 10.1186/s12891-019-2755-1.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between radiographic measurement in lumbar spine and clinical information including symptoms or results of functional testing using a baseline data of longitudinal cohort study.

Methods: A total of 314 elderly subjects were recruited from 5 orthopedic clinics or affiliated facilities. Data for the present investigation were collected via an interviewer-administered questionnaire, which included questions on past medical history, drug history, pain area. And also results of functional testing and X-ray imaging of the lumbar spine were collected. Analysis was carried out to determine any correlation between results of X-ray imaging of the lumbar spine and other collected data, and sorted regarding Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). The correlations among these variables and odds ratio were also analyzed.

Results: T12/L1% disc height showed a minimum AIC value with buttock pain (- 4.57) and history of vertebral fracture (- 4.05). The L1/L2, L2/L3, and L3/L4% disc height had a minimal AIC value with knee pain (- 4.11, - 13.3, - 3.15, respectively), and odds ratio of knee pain were 3.5, 3.8, and 2.7, respectively.

Conclusions: Correlation was recognized between the T12/L1% disc height and both buttock pain and previous vertebral fractures, and the L1/L2, L2/L3, and L3/L4% disc height showed a correlation with knee pain. Especially the L2/L3% disc height and knee pain had a strong correlation. It was suggested that these findings may provide additional basis to the concept that lumbar spinal lesion associates with knee pain clinically.

Keywords: Disc degeneration; Disc height; Elderly people; Knee pain; Knee-spine syndrome; Locomotive syndrome; Lumbar spine; Lumbar spondylosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthralgia / epidemiology*
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Fractures / complications
  • Spinal Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Spondylosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spondylosis / pathology