Sex differences in knee joint loading: Cross-sectional study in geriatric population

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Abstract

This study investigated sex differences in knee biomechanics and investigated determinants for difference in a geriatric population. Age-matched healthy volunteers (42 males and 42 females, average age 65 years) without knee OA were included in the study. Subjects underwent physical examination on their knee and standing full-limb radiography for anthropometric measurements. Linear, kinetic, and kinematic parameters were compared using a three-dimensional, 12-camera motion capture system. Gait parameters were evaluated and determinants for sex difference were evaluated with multiple regression analysis. Females had a higher peak knee adduction moment (KAM) during gait (p = 0.004). Females had relatively wider pelvis and narrower step width (both p < 0.001). However, coronal knee alignment was not significantly different between the sexes. Multiple regression analysis revealed that coronal alignment (b = 0.014, p < 0.001), step width (b = −0.010, p = 0.011), and pelvic width/height ratio (b = 1.703, p = 0.046) were significant determinants of peak KAM. Because coronal alignment was not different between the sexes, narrow step width and high pelvic width/height ratio of female were the main contributors to higher peak KAM in females. Sex differences in knee biomechanics were present in the geriatric population. Increased mechanical loading on the female knee, which was associated with narrow step width and wide pelvis, may play an important role in future development and progression of OA. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res

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