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Osteoarthrotic changes after acute transarticular load. An animal model
RC Thompson; TR Oegema; JL Lewis; L Wallace
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1991 Aug 01;73(7):990-1001
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The canine patellofemoral joint was subjected to a standardized transarticular load of 2170 newtons for two milliseconds, and the gross and histological changes were examined at two, twelve, and twenty-four weeks after injury. Initially, the load creates fractures in the zone of calcified cartilage, with minimum damage to the articular cartilage surface. Surface fissures were visible in all patellae only after staining with India ink. Histologically, these surface clefts extended into the transitional or superficial radial zone, and they did not communicate with the subchondral bone except in two patellae. However, there were reproducible clefts in the region of the subchondral bone and the zone of calcified cartilage in all patellae. Six months after loading, there was a loss of safranin-O staining above the deep clefts, and there was new-bone formation in the subchondral region and fibrillation of the cartilaginous surface. Thus, the initial changes had progressed to osteoarthrotic-like conditions at six months. In this animal model, the joint is not invaded and the changes that result from loading are reproducible. The injury to the joint creates superficial disruption of the cartilage and subchondral changes that lead to arthritic-like degeneration of the cartilage within six months.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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