The symptomatic course of foot osteoarthritis phenotypes: an 18-month prospective analysis of community-dwelling older adults. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Osteoarthritis (OA) is a heterogeneous disease, and symptom progression at the foot is unclear. This study investigated the symptomatic course of 3 predefined foot OA phenotypes over an 18-month period. METHODS:The Clinical Assessment Study of the Foot is a community-based cohort of adults ages ≥50 years in North Staffordshire, UK. Participants who reported foot pain in a postal health survey and underwent radiographic assessment were mailed an 18-month followup survey. Changes in descriptive and symptomatic outcomes over 18 months were compared across the 3 phenotypes to determine within-phenotype changes and between-phenotype differences. RESULTS:Of 533 participants at baseline, 478 (89.7%) responded at 18 months. All 3 phenotypes showed small within-phenotype improvements in mean foot pain severity (scale range 0-10, where 0 = no pain and 10 = worst pain): no or minimal foot OA (18 months 4.0, mean change -1.15 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) -1.46, -0.83]), isolated first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint OA (18 months 4.1, mean change -0.60 [95% CI -1.11, -0.10]), and polyarticular foot OA (18 months 5.1, mean change -0.77 [95% CI -1.42, -0.12]). The isolated first MTP joint OA phenotype had an increased likelihood of hallux valgus in the left foot (adjusted odds ratio 2.96 [95% CI 1.23, 7.12]) compared to the no or minimal foot OA phenotype. CONCLUSION:Three foot OA phenotypes showed few descriptive or symptomatic changes over 18 months. Future clinical trials should consider that people recruited with mild-to-moderate symptomatic foot OA appear likely to remain relatively stable with usual care. Longer-term followup using additional time points is required to describe further the natural history of foot OA.


  • Downes, Thomas J
  • Chesterton, Linda
  • Whittle, Rebecca
  • Roddy, Edward
  • Menz, Hylton B
  • Marshall, Michelle
  • Thomas, Martin J

publication date

  • 2017