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Vol. 37 No. 2, March/April 2000
Pages 163 -170

Methods for evaluating the progression of osteoarthritis

Thomas P. Andriacchi, PhD; Philipp L. Lang, MD; Eugene J. Alexander, PhD; Debra E. Hurwitz, PhD

Stanford University, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Functional Restoration, Division of Biomechanical Engineering, Stanford, CA 94301; Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chicago, IL 60612

Abstract — This article discusses methods for evaluating the progression of osteoarthritis through dynamic functional imaging as opposed to current static techniques. Comparison is made between static and dynamic methods of evaluating knee alignment. The correlation between dynamic knee moments during gait and bone mineral content is discussed. Knee loading is considered in terms of high tibial osteotomy, knee braces, pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. New image-processing techniques for quantitating cartilage loss are described, and computational methods for generating true three-dimensional (3-D) maps of cartilage thickness are developed. Finally, new approaches to cross-correlate magnetic resonance images with kinematic measurements are described. These new techniques promise to become powerful diagnostic tools to detect and characterize pathological load distributions across articular cartilage.

Key words: dynamic functional imaging, dynamic knee loads, gait analysis, MRI, osteoarthritis.

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