OBJECTIVES--To compare the prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip, tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints in a skeletal population. METHODS--A total of 785 adult English skeletons (695 Saxon or Mediaeval origin) were examined for OA using established criteria. RESULTS--Twenty nine skeletons had hip OA, compared with 14 with patellofemoral joint OA, and only four tibiofemoral joint OA. CONCLUSION--Tibiofemoral OA was far less prevalent in ancient skeletons than hip or patellofemoral disease. Tibiofemoral OA may be a 'new' disease.
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