A machine learning-based diagnostic model associated with knee osteoarthritis severity

Sci Rep. 2020 Sep 25;10(1):15743. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-72941-4.


Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is characterized by pain and decreased gait function. We aimed to find KOA-related gait features based on patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and develop regression models using machine learning algorithms to estimate KOA severity. The study included 375 volunteers with variable KOA grades. The severity of KOA was determined using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). WOMAC scores were used to classify disease severity into three groups. A total of 1087 features were extracted from the gait data. An ANOVA and student's t-test were performed and only features that were significant were selected for inclusion in the machine learning algorithm. Three WOMAC subscales (physical function, pain and stiffness) were further divided into three classes. An ANOVA was performed to determine which selected features were significantly related to the subscales. Both linear regression models and a random forest regression was used to estimate patient the WOMAC scores. Forty-three features were selected based on ANOVA and student's t-test results. The following number of features were selected from each joint: 12 from hip, 1 feature from pelvic, 17 features from knee, 9 features from ankle, 1 feature from foot, and 3 features from spatiotemporal parameters. A significance level of < 0.0001 and < 0.00003 was set for the ANOVA and t-test, respectively. The physical function, pain, and stiffness subscales were related to 41, 10, and 16 features, respectively. Linear regression models showed a correlation of 0.723 and the machine learning algorithm showed a correlation of 0.741. The severity of KOA was predicted by gait analysis features, which were incorporated to develop an objective estimation model for KOA severity. The identified features may serve as a tool to guide rehabilitation and progress assessments. In addition, the estimation model presented here suggests an approach for clinical application of gait analysis data for KOA evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Gait Analysis / methods*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Machine Learning
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnosis*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Severity of Illness Index