Analysis of Acute Mechanical Insult in an Animal Model of Post-traumatic Osteoarthrosis

[+] Author and Article Information
W. N. Newberry, J. J. Garcia, R. C. Haut

Orthopædic Biomechanics Laboratories, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

C. D. Mackenzie

Department of Pathology, Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

C. E. Decamp

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

J Biomech Eng 120(6), 704-709 (Dec 01, 1998) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2834882 History: Received February 12, 1998; Revised July 22, 1998; Online January 23, 2008


Chronic degeneration of articular cartilage and bone in a rabbit model of post-traumatic osteoarthrosis has been hypothesized to occur due to acute stresses that exceed a threshold for injury. In this study, we impacted the rabbit patellofemoral joint at low and high intensities. High-intensity impacts produced degenerative changes in the joint, such as softening of retropatellar cartilage, as measured by indentation, an increase in histopathology of the cartilage, and an increase in thickness of sub-chondral bone underlying the cartilage. Low-intensity impacts did not cause these progressive changes. These data suggest that low-intensity impacts produced acute tissue stresses below the injury threshold, while high-intensity impacts produced stresses that exceeded the threshold for disease pathogenesis. This study begins to identify “safe” and “unsafe” ranges of acute tissue stress, using the rabbit patella, which may have future utility in the design of injury prevention devices for the human.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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