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Surg Radiol Anat. 2013 May;35(4):283-93. doi: 10.1007/s00276-012-1069-x. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Micro CT analysis of the subarticular bone structure in the area of the talar trochlea.

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  • 1Orthopedic Department, University of Basel, Spitalstrasse 21, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.



Certain regions of the talar trochlea are recognized as exhibiting varying cartilage thickness and degrees of subchondral bone mineralization. These changes have been attributed to the long-term loading history. For the current study, we accepted the hypothesis that stress-induced alterations of the joint surface include not only varying degrees of subchondral lamellar mineralization, but also structural changes of the subarticular cancellous bone.


In order to examine the structure of the subarticular cancellous bone, ten formalin-fixed talar trochleae were analyzed using micro CT. Sixteen measurement zones were defined and then evaluated in five layers each of 1-mm thickness, enabling assessment of the cancellous architecture extending 5 mm below the trochlear surface using numerical and structural parameters.


As with mineralization patterns in the subchondral lamella, large variation was observed regarding bone volume, trabecular quantity, thickness, and spacing, as well as for structure model index and degree of anisotropy, depending on localization. In addition, like previous reports examining mineralization of the subchondral lamella, two distinct groups could be identified as "bicentric" or "monocentric".


These results show that structural tissue adaptation probably due to loading history is also evident within the subarticular cancellous bone.

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