Ahlback Classification Definition Essay

This classification was proposed by Ahlback et al. in 1968.

According toAhlbäck system, knee joint osteoarthritis is classified as:

  • grade 1: joint space narrowing (less than 3 mm)
  • grade 2: joint space obliteration
  • grade 3: minor bone attrition (0-5 mm)
  • grade 4: moderate bone attrition (5-10 mm)
  • grade 5: severe bone attrition (more than 10 mm)

See also


  • 1. Petersson IF, Boegård T, Saxne T et-al. Radiographic osteoarthritis of the knee classified by the Ahlbäck and Kellgren & Lawrence systems for the tibiofemoral joint in people aged 35-54 years with chronic knee pain. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 1997;56 (8): 493-6. doi:10.1136/ard.56.8.493 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation

Related articles

Knee pathology

The knee is a complex synovial joint that can be affected by a range of pathologies:

1. Sharma L, Kapoor D. Epidemiology of osteoarthritis. In: Moskowitz RW, Altman RD, Hochberg MC, Buckwalter JA, Goldberg VM, editors. Osteoarthritis: diagnosis and medical/surgical management. Philadelphia: Saunders Com; 2007. p. 3.

2. Loeser RF. Age-related Changes in the Musculoskeletal System and the Development of Osteoarthritis. Clin Geriatr Med. 2010;26(3):371–86.[PMC free article][PubMed]

3. Talić A, Bećirbegović S, Džanković F, Omerović Ð. Application of Intraarticular Injection in Patients with Kneeosteoarthritis. Med Žurnal. 2011;17(1):37–40.

4. Ahlbäck S. Osteoarthrosis of the knee. A radiographic investigation. Acta Radiol Diagn (Stockh) 1968;(Suppl 277):7–72. PMID: 5706059. [PubMed]

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13. Petersson IF, Boegård T, Saxne T, Silman AJ, Svensson B. Radiographic osteoarthritis of the knee classified by the Ahlbäck and Kellgren &Lawrence systems for the tibiofemoral joint in people aged 35-54 years with chronic knee pain. Ann Rheum Dis. 1997 Aug;56(8):493–6.[PMC free article][PubMed]

14. Davies AP, Calder DA, Marshall T, Glasgow MM. Plain radiography in the degenerate knee. A case for change. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1999 Jul;81(4):632–5.[PubMed]

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