Bone and cartilage changes following experimental varus or valgus tibial angulation

Authors

  • D. D. Wu,

    1. Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, West Virginia University, Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
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  • Dr. D. B. Burr,

    Corresponding author
    1. Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, West Virginia University, Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Anatomy, West Virginia University, Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
    • Dept. of Anatomy, Indiana University of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, U.S.A.
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  • R. D. Boyd,

    1. Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, West Virginia University, Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
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  • E. L. Radin

    1. Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, West Virginia University, Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
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Abstract

The purpose of this work was to determine whether subchondral bone changes are an integral part of the development of osteoarthrosis of the knee following experimentally created tibial angulation. Thirty degree varus or valgus proximal tibial osteotomies were created in female New Zealand white rabbits. Bone and cartilage changes were assessed grossly, radiologically, and histologically. Thirty-four weeks following osteotomy, severe cartilage changes, including osteophytes, fibrillation, derangement of cell columns, and cloning, were evident on the overloaded condyle, accompanied by increased subchondral bone density. The pattern of cartilage deterioration was different from that found in other experimental, mechanically induced arthroses. We conclude that osteoarthrosis is a final common pathway for mechanically induced joint failure, and that progressive cartilage change is associated with increased subchondral bone density.

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