Relationship of 3D meniscal morphology and position with knee pain in subjects with knee osteoarthritis: A pilot study

Andrea Wenger, Martin Englund, Wolfgang Wirth, Martin Hudelmaier, Kent Kwoh, Felix Eckstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objectives To explore whether quantitative, three-dimensional measurements of meniscal position and size are associated with knee pain using a with in-person, between-knee study design. Methods We studied 53 subjects (19 men, 34 women) from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, with identical radiographic OA grades in both knees, but frequent pain in one and no pain in the other knee. The tibial plateau and menisci were analyzed using coronally reconstructed double echo steady- state sequence with water excitation (DESSwe) MRI. Results The medial meniscus covered a smaller proportion of the tibial plateau (-5%) and displayed greater extrusion of the body (+15%) in painful than in painless knees (paired t-test; p < 0.05). The external margin of the lateral meniscus showed greaterextrusionofthe body in painful knees (+22%; p=0.03), but no significant difference in the position of its internal margin or tibial coverage. Medial or lateral extrusion ≥3mm was more frequent in painful (n=23) than in painless knees (n=12; McNemar's test; p=0.02). No significant association was observed between meniscal size and knee pain. Conclusions These data suggest a relationship between extrusion of the meniscal body, as measured with quantitative MRI, and knee pain in subjects with knee OA. Further studies need to confirm these findings and their clinical relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Extrusion
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Meniscus
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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