July 17, 2018
2 min read

Knee hypermobility linked to talonavicular OA

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Yvonne M. Golightly, PT, PhD
Yvonne M. Golightly

Knee joint hypermobility could be related to talonavicular osteoarthritis, as well as foot and ankle symptoms, according to findings published in Arthritis Care & Research.

“In the first community-based cohort study of older African-American and white men and women, we demonstrated associations of older age, obesity, prior injury and ankle symptoms — ie, pain, aching and stiffness — with radiographic ankle OA, but the relationship of joint hypermobility with ankle OA or symptoms was not investigated,” Yvonne M. Golightly, PT, PhD, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and colleagues wrote. “No prior published cohort study has examined the association of joint hypermobility with foot OA or foot or ankle symptoms.”

To determine the links between joint hypermobility and ankle and foot radiographic OA among a large, community-based group of black and white adults aged 55 to 94 years, the researchers studied data from the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. For their cross-sectional study, the researchers focused on 848 participants for whom ankle and foot radiographs and joint hypermobility data, collected from 2003 to 2010, were available.

Golightly and colleagues defined general hypermobility as a Beighton score of 4 or greater, with knee hypermobility specifically classified as hyperextension of at least one knee. In addition, they read standing anteroposterior and lateral foot radiographs using standard atlases for KellgrenLawrence grade, osteophytes and joint space narrowing at the tibiotalar joint, as well as for osteophytes and joint space narrowing, to define OA at five joints in the foot. Participants self-reported ankle or foot symptoms. The researchers used separate personbased logistic regression models to determine links between ankle and foot OA, as well as symptom outcomes, and hypermobility measures, adjusting for age, sex, race, BMI and history of ankle or foot injury.

According to the researchers, general joint hypermobility was not associated with ankle and foot outcomes. However, knee hypermobility was associated with ankle symptoms (adjusted OR = 4.4), foot symptoms (aOR = 2.4) and talonavicular OA (aOR = 3).

“Joint hypermobility may be linked to ankle and foot symptoms and talonavicular [radiographic] OA,” Golightly and colleagues wrote. “These findings should be further examined in other populations and in longitudinal analyses, particularly studies that may include data on joint hypermobility during younger ages, to determine the contribution of joint hypermobility over time to the incidence and progression of ankle and foot OA outcomes.” – by Jason Laday

Disclosure: Golightly reports funding from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the NIH and the CDC. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.