Content » Vol 45, Issue 2

Original report

Ultrasonographic measurement of femoral cartilage thickness in patients with spinal cord injury

Murat Kara, Tülay Tiftik, Öznur Öken, Nuray Akkaya, Hakan Tunc, Levent Özçakar
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1092


Objective: To assess femoral cartilage thickness in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Subjects: Forty-six patients with SCI (35 men, 11 women; mean age: 33. 6 years (standard deviation 8. 1) and 46 age-, sex- and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy subjects were enrolled.
Methods: Patients were evaluated with the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale, Modified Ashworth Scale, Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury, and Functional Independence Measurement. Mid-point ultrasonographic femoral cartilage thickness measurements were taken from the right lateral condyle, right intercondylar area, right medial condyle, left medial condyle, left intercondylar area and left lateral condyle.
Results: Ultrasonographic measurements revealed significantly thicker values in the intercondylar areas (bilaterally) and the medial condyle (left knee) of patients with SCI compared with those of controls. When the subgroups were compared with their paired healthy controls, measurements pertaining to the motor complete group were found to be significantly thicker in the intercondylar areas (bilaterally) and the medial condyle (left knee). Cartilage thickness values correlated negatively with the duration of immobilization (for bilateral intercondylar areas), and with BMI and ASIA level (for bilateral lateral condyles).
Conclusion: Femoral cartilage thicknesses were found to change after SCI, and to have a negative correlation with disease duration and severity. Future studies including histological evaluations may elucidate whether such changes are favourable for the knee joints of patients with spinal cord injury.

Lay Abstract


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