Bone Marrow Oedema in the Knees of Asymptomatic High-Level Athletes: Prevalence and Associated Factors
Kosy, Jonathan D.
Williams, Craig A.
JournalIndian Journal of Orthopaedics
PublisherIndian Orthopaedics Association
Rights© Indian Orthopaedics Association 2020.
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Bone marrow oedema (BMO), seen on magnetic resonance imaging, can be associated with various injuries to the knee but may also occur in asymptomatic athletes. The prevalence and causal factors for these observations are not well understood. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of BMO in asymptomatic knees of athletes, competing at a high level, and to investigate the associated factors. Materials and methods: Twenty-five asymptomatic university athletes, competing at regional to international level, were recruited. Bilateral knee magnetic resonance imaging was performed in each athlete (total 50 knee scans) at the end of their competitive season. Imaging studies were reported independently by two experienced consultant musculoskeletal radiologists. Results: There was almost perfect agreement between reporters for diagnosis of BMO (κ = 0.896). Seven participants (28%) were found to have BMO (six in one knee and one bilaterally). The amount of time spent training, during the season, was significantly associated with the appearance of BMO (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The occurrence of BMO in asymptomatic knees of athletes is common (occurring in over one-quarter of knees) and may be associated with training intensity. This should be considered when treating athletes and deciding upon appropriate treatment plans.