Identification of Early Knee Osteoarthritis Based on Knee Joint Trajectory during Stair Climbing

Ami Ogawa, Hirotaka Iijima, Masaki Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Patients with knee osteoarthritis show low stair climbing ability, but a diagnosis of stair performance time is not enough to identify the early stages of knee osteoarthritis. Therefore, we developed an indicator named range of the knee joint trajectory (RKJT) as a kinematic parameter to express more detailed characteristics than stair performance time. To achieve this, we used our developed “IR-Locomotion”, a markerless measurement system that can track the knee joint trajectory when climbing stairs. This study aimed to test whether the RKJT effectively identifies patients with early knee osteoarthritis even after controlling stair performance time. Forty-seven adults with moderate to severe knee pain (mean age 59.2 years; 68.1% women) underwent the radiographic examination (Kellgren and Lawrence grade) of both knees and a stair climbing test on 11 stairs. The RKJT during the stair climbing test was calculated by “IR-Locomotion”. A generalized linear mixed model was used to evaluate the discriminative capability of RKJT on early knee osteoarthritis (i.e., Kellgren and Lawrence grade of 1). As expected, patients with early knee osteoarthritis showed larger RKJT than non-radiographic controls (95% confidence interval: 1.007, 1.076). Notably, this finding was consistent even after adjusting stair performance time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15023
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov


  • IR-Locomotion
  • early knee osteoarthritis
  • knee joint trajectory
  • non-contact markerless measurement system
  • stair climbing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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