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J Anat. Apr 1996; 188(Pt 2): 367–373.
PMCID: PMC1167573

Quantitative comparison of soft tissue-bone interface at chondral ligament insertions in the rabbit knee joint.

Abstract

At chondral ligament insertions the calcified fibrocartilage interdigitates deeply with the lamellar bone. The shape of this interface is formed under physiological loading conditions. For the purpose of morphological comparison between different ligament entheses in the rabbit knee, the number and frequency of interdigitations and thickness of calcified fibrocartilage were quantitated at the femoral insertion of the medial collateral ligament, both insertions of the cruciate ligaments, and the tibial insertion of the patellar ligament. Among the insertions, the femoral insertion of the medial collateral ligament showed the lowest frequency and depth of interdigitations at the soft tissue-bone interface, but had the thickest zone of calcified fibrocartilage. An inverse relationship was found at the insertion interface of the cruciate and patellar ligaments. The frequency and depth of interdigations at the bone-soft tissue interface at different chondral entheses seem to be related to the mechanical strength of the respective ligament; meanwhile it may be hypothesised that the thickness of the calcified fibrocartilage might be more related to the amount of motion which takes place at an insertion.

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Selected References

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