To determine whether the adduction moment at the knee during locomotor activity contributes to the development of future chronic knee pain.Methods
We studied 132 community-dwelling elders who had undergone a full kinetic and kinematic motion analysis while performing 4 different activities: standing, walking, rising from a chair, and descending stairs. We contacted the participants 3–4 years after their baseline locomotion analysis and identified those who reported no knee pain at the time of motion analysis but who subsequently developed new chronic knee pain at followup. We examined whether the development of new chronic knee pain was associated with higher peak adduction moment at the knee during activities, measured at baseline.Results
Of the 132 elders evaluated in 1995–1996, 118 (89%) were contacted in 1999. Of the 118 contacted, 80 (mean age 75 years; 78% women) had no lower extremity prosthetic joints at baseline, no known underlying inflammatory arthritis at baseline nor followup, and no baseline knee pain. At followup, 7 had developed new chronic knee pain defined as pain or stiffness on most days of the month and with walking 2 blocks or using stairs. Compared with those who did not develop knee pain, those who did develop new chronic knee pain had higher baseline adduction moments for all activities (P = 0.01), ranging from 8% higher during chair rise to 39% higher during stair descent.Conclusion
We found that greater adduction moment at the knee during activities contributes to the development of future chronic knee pain. Our results suggest that biomechanical factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of knee pain and should be studied further.