Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Varus Thrust Linked with Worsening Knee Pain

Arthritis Care Res; ePub 2018 Sep 22; Wink, et al

Varus thrust is a risk factor for worsening and incident knee pain in older adults with or at risk of osteoarthritis (OA), according to a recent study. Therefore, targeting varus thrust through non‐invasive therapies could prevent development or worsening of knee pain in this population. Video recordings of self‐paced walking trials of Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) participants (1,623 participants, 3,204 knees) were assessed for the presence of varus thrust at baseline. Knee pain was assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) questionnaire at baseline and at 2 years. Researchers found:

  • Varus thrust was observed in 31.5% of knees.
  • Knees with varus thrust had 1.44 times the odds of any and 1.37 times the odds of clinically‐important worsening WOMAC pain compared to knees without thrust.
  • Knees with thrust without baseline WOMAC pain had 2.01 times the odds of incident total pain.


Wink AE, Gross KD, Brown CA, et al. Association of varus knee thrust during walking with worsening WOMAC knee pain: The Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. [Published online ahead of print September 22, 2018]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23766.

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