Meniscal tear and increased tibial plateau bone area in healthy post-menopausal women
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Davis-Tuck, ML and Martel-Pelletier, J and Wluka, AE and Pelletier, JP and Ding, C and Jones, G and Davis, S and Cicuttini, FM, Meniscal tear and increased tibial plateau bone area in healthy post-menopausal women, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 16, (2) pp. 268-271. ISSN 1063-4584 (2008) [Refereed Article]
Objective: Meniscal tears detected using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been identified as a risk factor for the development and progression of Osteoarthritis, however the prevalence and significance of meniscal tears in healthy, asymptomatic adults remains to be studied. We investigated the prevalence of meniscal tears in a healthy pain free population of post-menopausal women and whether meniscal tears in this population are associated with changes in cartilage volume and defects and tibial plateau bone area over 2 years. Methods: Fifty-seven post-menopausal women underwent MRI of their dominant knee at baseline line and approximately 2 years later to assess meniscal tears, cartilage volume, cartilage defects and tibial plateau bone area. Results: Forty-six percent of women had a meniscal tear in either the medial and/or lateral compartment. Women who had a tear were older (P = 0.01) and had more lateral cartilage defects (P = 0.02). Medial meniscal tear was associated with 103 mm2 greater tibial plateau bone area within the medial [95% confidence of interval (CI) 6.2, 200.3; P = 0.04] and a lateral meniscal tear with a 120 mm2 greater area within the lateral compartment (95% CI 45.5, 195.2; P = 0.002). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that meniscal tears are common in asymptomatic post-menopausal women and that they become more common with age. Meniscal tears were also associated with greater tibial plateau bone area but not cartilage volume, providing support to the hypothesis that tibial plateau bone changes occur before significant pathological changes in cartilage. Whether increased tibial plateau bone area predisposes to an increased risk of degenerative meniscal tears or whether it is a consequence of altered biomechanical forces in relation to meniscal tear will need to be determined. © 2007 Osteoarthritis Research Society International.
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