Research from the University of Nottingham suggests 14% of people with knee pain (KP) have neuropathic-like knee pain (NKP) and the latter is more common in women and those with depression and anxiety.
The cross-sectional study involving 9506 participants, aged at least 40 years, was undertaken in the East Midlands community using a postal questionnaire. Questions included KP severity (numerical rating scale) and type (neuropathic vs nociceptive) using the modified painDETECT questionnaire, as well as age, BMI, significant knee injury, widespread pain, pain catastrophising and fatigue.
More than 28% of responders reported KP for most days of the previous month, of whom 13.65% had NKP. Almost 17% of women with KP reported definite NKP compared to 11.6% of men.
On multinomial regression analysis, NKP showed significant associations with fibromyalgia (aOR, 3.19; 95% CI, 1.70-5.98), anxiety (aOR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.76-3.48), depression (aOR, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.70-4.04), pain catastrophising (highest tertile aOR, 5.00; 95% CI, 2.68-9.36) and fatigue (highest tertile aOR, 5.11; 95% CI, 2.86-9.15). The most significant peripheral risk factors were significant knee injury (aOR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.04-1.99) and the presence of nodal osteoarthritis (aOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.19-2.63).
Presenting the findings in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy, the authors say: “The results suggest that of the risk factors examined, NKP is predominantly centrally driven, whereas non-NKP is driven equally by both peripheral and central factors.”
Different prevention and treatment strategies may be required for individuals with NKP, they say.