Morphologic features of the distal femur and tibia plateau in Southeastern Chinese population: A cross-sectional study

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Morphologic measurements of the femoral and tibial features of western population have been done in several studies, which provides the fundamental data for the design of total knee arthroplasty prosthesis used globally, including China. However, researches on anatomic and morphologic features of the knee in Chinese populations of both sexes have never been conducted. Our study was aimed at investigating the anatomic and morphologic features of the knees of the Southeastern Chinese population by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, so as to provide parameters for sex- and ethnic-specific implant designs in the future.

A total of 245 knees from 244 Chinese adults (130 females and 114 males, aging from 18 to 89 years) who received knee MRI scan from November 2014 to October 2015 were recruited and analyzed. A set of linear and angular parameters, and 6 normalized ratios were measured and calculated on the distal femur and proximal tibia.

The knee size was significantly different between sexes. Compared with women, men have larger (P  < .01) medial–lateral (ML) and anterior–posterior (AP) dimensions in both distal femur and proximal tibia. Differences in femoral shape, represented by the femur surface ratio, between both sexes were also identified (1.23 ± 0.07 vs 1.27 ± 0.07, P  < .01), whereas the ML/AP ratios of the tibia are similar between both sexes (1.44 ± 0.07 vs 1.44 ± 0.09, P  = .97). We also found substantial difference in the morphology of femur and tibia plateau in Southeastern Chinese population compared with data obtained from western populations.

Our study measured the anatomic and morphologic features of the knees in Southeastern Chinese population, and identified knee morphologic differences between both sexes, as well as western and Chinese population. Further clinical studies are needed to determine other essential parameters for the design of prosthesis to the Chinese populations.

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