Characteristics of distal femoral articular cartilage in 6 weeks posttraumatic osteoarthritis by a subcritical impact.

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Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society


Traumatized knee greatly contributes to osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in young adults. To intervene effectively before the onset of severe structural disruption, detection of the disease at the early onset is crucial. In this study, we put together the findings for the detection of OA from the femoral knee joint cartilage of the rabbit at 6 weeks posttrauma. Articular cartilage samples are taken from the impacted and nonimpacted joints at 0 week (serving as the control group) and at 6 weeks posttrauma by minimal force. The samples were imaged using microscopic magnetic resonance imaging (µMRI) at 11.7 µm/pixel and polarized light microscopy (PLM) at 1 µm/pixel. In addition, an inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry analysis was performed using the adjacent cartilage samples. The outcomes of this study demonstrate an increase in T2 values in 6 weeks samples compared to the 0 week samples by µMRI technique, indicating a general increase of tissue hydration within cartilage. PLM detects a decrease in the average thickness of the superficial zones in the posttraumatic osteoarthritis samples, significant in the impacted femurs. There was an average increasing trend of maximum retardation in the tide mark in comparison to the reported calcium concentration (mg/L) in impacted samples suggesting a possible rise in mineralization in the 6 weeks samples. Qualitatively, physical observation of the joint after 6 weeks showed signs of reddening in the anterior femur suggesting the disease process is a localized phenomenon. Through microscopic imaging, we are able to detect these changes at 6 weeks posttrauma qualitatively and quantitatively.





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