Elevated Patellofemoral and Tibiofemoral T1ρ Relaxation Times Following a First Time Patellar Dislocation

John J. Elias, Mei Li, Mingrui Yang, Richard Lartey, John P. Murray, Lutul D. Farrow, Carl S. Winalski, Xiaojuan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The study was performed to evaluate cartilage within the knee following a first-time patellar dislocation, using elevated MRI-based T1ρ relaxation times as an indicator of low proteoglycan concentration. The hypothesis is that MRI-based T1ρ relaxation times for patellofemoral and tibiofemoral cartilage are significantly longer for knees being treated for patellar dislocation than for healthy control knees. Design: Twenty-one subjects being treated for a first-time, unilateral dislocation of the patella and 16 healthy controls participated in MRI-based T1ρ relaxation time mapping. Mean relaxation times were quantified for patellofemoral and tibiofemoral regions for injured knees, the contralateral knees, and healthy controls. T1ρ values for each region were compared between the 3 groups with generalized estimating equations. Linear regressions were also performed to correlate T1ρ relaxation times with time from injury. Results: The knees with a disloction had longer T1ρ relaxation times than the contralateral knees and control group at the medial patella and longer relaxation times than the control group at the lateral tibia (P < 0.05). T1ρ relaxation times at the medial patella also decreased with time from injury (r2 = 0.21, P = 0.037). Conclusions: Compositional changes to cartilage on the medial patella are related to traumatic impact during a dislocation. Potential exists for cartilage properties at the medial patella to improve with time. Cartilage degradation at the lateral tibia is not directly related to traumatic impact. The current baseline data are a starting point to characterize the pathway from a first-time dislocation to progressive cartilage degradation and osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • T1ρ
  • cartilage
  • patellar dislocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Immunology and Allergy


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