Ligaments on the outside of the knee (lateral collateral ligament complex or LCLC) exhibit the abnormalities of osteoarthritis on MRI procedures 88% of the time among patients  who have OA. The cuationary findings were revealed recently by researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Penn.

The study consisted of 96 patients (53 women, 43 men), 51 with knee osteoarthrosis, and 44 patients with knee pain following an injury and no history of knee osteoarthrosis who underwent MRI. "The patients were graded on the severity of knee osteoarthrosis on radiographs and the severity of abnormalities of the LCLC components on MRI," said Yung-Hsin Chen, MD, of Johns Hopkins Hospital and lead author of the study.

The study showed LCLC abnormalities were identified in 88% of the patients with OA compared to 12% of patients without OA. The study revealed that lateral compartment osteoarthrosis was significantly associated with abnormalities in the fibular collateral ligament.

Caution should be given to the interpretation of LCLC abnormalities, as they should not be incorrectly attributed to an acute atraumatic injury, say the study authors.

"The results of the findings will help to explain some of the common finding we come across in day to day radiology in patients with osteoarthritis," Chen said.

The full results of this study will be presented May 10 during the American Roentgen Ray Society’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.