Investigations of Potential Phenotypes of Foot Osteoarthritis: Cross-Sectional Analysis From the Clinical Assessment Study of the Foot

Trishna Rathod, Michelle Marshall, Martin J Thomas, Hylton B Menz, Helen L Myers, Elaine Thomas, Thomas Downes, George Peat, Edward Roddy
Arthritis Care & Research 2016, 68 (2): 217-27

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the existence of distinct foot osteoarthritis (OA) phenotypes based on pattern of joint involvement and comparative symptom and risk profiles.

METHODS: Participants ages ≥50 years reporting foot pain in the previous year were drawn from a population-based cohort. Radiographs were scored for OA in the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, first and second cuneometatarsal, navicular first cuneiform, and talonavicular joints according to a published atlas. Chi-square tests established clustering, and odds ratios (ORs) examined symmetry and pairwise associations of radiographic OA in the feet. Distinct underlying classes of foot OA were investigated by latent class analysis (LCA) and their association with symptoms and risk factors was assessed.

RESULTS: In 533 participants (mean age 64.9 years, 55.9% female) radiographic OA clustered across both feet (P < 0.001) and was highly symmetrical (adjusted OR 3.0, 95% confidence interval 2.1, 4.2). LCA identified 3 distinct classes of foot OA: no or minimal foot OA (64%), isolated first MTP joint OA (22%), and polyarticular foot OA (15%). After adjustment for age and sex, polyarticular foot OA was associated with nodal OA, increased body mass index, and more pain and functional limitation compared to the other classes.

CONCLUSION: Patterning of radiographic foot OA has provided insight into the existence of 2 forms of foot OA: isolated first MTP joint OA and polyarticular foot OA. The symptom and risk factor profiles in individuals with polyarticular foot OA indicate a possible distinctive phenotype of foot OA, but further research is needed to explore the characteristics of isolated first MTP joint and polyarticular foot OA.

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