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J Orthop Res. 2013 Nov;31(11):1745-56. doi: 10.1002/jor.22429. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

Tibiofemoral centroid velocity correlates more consistently with cartilage damage than does contact path length in two ovine models of stifle injury.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture and/or meniscal injury are known risk factors for post-traumatic osteoarthritis. We tested the hypothesis that increasingly abnormal tibiofemoral centroid path lengths and velocities would correlate with the severity of cartilage damage in injured sheep. Six sheep underwent combined ACL/medial collateral ligament transection (ACL/MCLx), five complete lateral meniscectomy (Mx), and four sham arthrotomy (Sham). Weighted centroids were used to estimate in vivo tibiofemoral cartilage contact path length during stance and the velocity of relative motion. Cartilage morphology was graded at dissection. Ligament transection significantly elongated plateau centroid path lengths and velocities, whereas condyle paths and velocities were reduced. Differences between plateau and femoral velocities (relative centroid velocity) were increased up to 10-fold over baseline values in the medial compartment. Reductions in Mx lateral compartment paths were significantly different from ACL/MCLx paths, but not relative to baseline or Sham values. Importantly, only centroid velocities consistently correlated with cartilage damage in either injury model, suggesting that while path length is valuable in detecting changes in the envelope of joint motion, it may average out meaningful peaks in the rate of relative motion that more closely relate to the mechanisms that might be damaging articular cartilage in these models.

© 2013 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


ACL; meniscectomy; osteoarthritis; path length; velocity

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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