How Normal is Cartilage that Looks Normal?

R. Flachsmann, W. Kim, and N.D. Broom (New Zealand)


Compression of cartilage-on-bone, articular surface rupture, strain analysis, free-swelling, ageing and degeneration.and that these strains can be related directly to surface rupture behaviour [3].


Static compressive loading of cartilage-on-bone induces in-plane tensile strains in the articular surface that can result in its rupture. Isolated upper layers of cartilage incorporating the articular surface will also swell to varying degrees. We have investigated the deformation and susceptibility to rupture of the cartilage surface and its free-swelling potential as a function of both age and mild degeneration, and where there was no visible indication of surface disruption or fibrillation. Our results demonstrate that there is both an increased risk of rupture and an increased propensity for swelling with both age and mild degenerative change.

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