This study found that amputees could be at a higher risk of developing lower-limb osteoarthritis compared to diabetic and healthy individuals.
This result of this study suggest amputees could be at a higher risk of developing lower-limb osteoarthritis compared to diabetic and healthy individuals, which is in line with prior work demonstrating the prevalence of osteoarthritis in the amputee population. Individuals with type II diabetes and individuals with lower-limb amputation each have increased risks of developing osteoarthritis compared to the general population. The authors measured hip and knee joint space, as indicators of osteoarthritis, in four groups of individuals: 1) lower-limb amputees with diabetes, 2) lower-limb amputees without diabetes 3) diabetic controls, and 4) healthy controls. We hypothesized lower-limb amputees with diabetes would have the most impaired musculoskeletal health, followed by amputees without diabetes, diabetic controls, then healthy controls. 30 total CT scans of males (42-79 years; BMI 19.7 - 48.9 kg/m2) were obtained from the New Mexico Decedent Image Database. 10 scans were identified for amputees, diabetic controls, and healthy controls. Half of the lower-limb amputees had diabetes while half did not, to differentiate effects of diabetes and amputation on musculoskeletal health. 3D Slicer software was used to measure hip and knee joint spaces as indicators of osteoarthritis. Comparisons between groups were assessed using Kruskal-Wallis with Dunn’s post hoc tests. Amputees with and without diabetes showed significantly narrower hip (p=0.01) and knee (p=0.08) joint space bilaterally compared to diabetic and healthy controls. In agreement with our hypothesis, box plots showed trends of amputees with diabetes having the most narrowed joint space, followed by amputees without diabetes, then diabetic controls, and healthy controls. While not statistically significant, these trends suggest amputees with diabetes are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis compared to amputees without diabetes. Future work will focus on increasing sample size to assess if these findings are generalizable to a larger population. (Published Abstract Provided)
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