Association of radiographic features of osteoarthritis of the knee with knee pain: data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

Arthritis Care Res. 1995 Sep;8(3):182-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1790080311.


Objective: To examine the association between self-reported knee pain and radiographic features of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

Methods: A sample of participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (452 Caucasian males and 223 Caucasian females) completed questionnaires and underwent a standing radiograph of both knees at the same biennial visit between 1984 and 1989. Radiographs were interpreted using both the Kellgren-Lawrence and individual features scales. Odds ratios were calculated for the association of radiographic features with knee pain after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index.

Results: Overall, 156 (23%) persons reported ever having knee pain, and 104 (15%) reported current knee pain (within the previous year). Both ever knee pain and current knee pain were significantly associated with the presence of definite knee OA (Kellgren-Lawrence grade > or = 2) and with the presence of all individual features. There was a direct relationship between all measures of severity of radiographic OA and knee pain.

Conclusion: These data demonstrate that radiographic features of knee OA are significantly associated with knee pain. The data also support the continued use of the Kellgren-Lawrence grading scale for defining knee OA in population studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Baltimore
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Osteoarthritis / complications*
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiography
  • Surveys and Questionnaires