Age has a minimal effect on knee kinematics: A cross-sectional 3D/2D image-registration study of kneeling

Catherine R. Galvin, Diana M. Perriman, Joseph T. Lynch, Mark R. Pickering, Phillip Newman, Paul N. Smith, Jennie M. Scarvell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Kneeling is an activity of daily living which becomes difficult with knee pathology and increasing age. This study aimed to capture kneeling kinematics in six-degrees-of-freedom in healthy adults as a function of age. Methods: 67 healthy knee participants aged from 20 to 90 years were categorised into four 20-year age-groups. 3D knee kinematics were captured using 3D/2D image-registration of CT scan and fluoroscopy during kneeling. Kinematic variables of position, displacement and rate-of-change in six-degrees-of-freedom were compared between age-groups while controlling for University of California Los Angeles activity scale and the Assessment of Quality of Life physical score. Results: Over the entire kneeling cycle there were few differences between the age-groups. Results are reported as pairwise contrasts. At 110° flexion, 80+ knees were more varus than 20–39 and 40–69 (4.9° (95%CI: 0.6°, 9.1°) and 6.4° (2.1°, 10.7°), respectively). At 120° flexion, the 80+ age-group femur was 5.5 (0.0, 11.0) mm more anterior than 20–39. Between 120° to maximum flexion, 80+ knees rotated into valgus more than 20–39, 40–59 and 60–79 (5.5° (1.2°, 9.8°); 5.5° (1.1°, 9.8°); and 4.5° (0.9°, 7.5°), respectively). Conclusion: This is the first study to report kneeling knee kinematics of ageing using 3D/2D image registration. We found that ageing does not change knee kinematics under 80 years, and there are minimal changes between 120° and maximum flexion between the younger and 80+ age-groups. Thus, difficulty kneeling should not be considered to be an inevitable consequence of ageing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-1002
Number of pages15
JournalThe Knee
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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