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Eur J Orthod. 1997 Oct;19(5):473-81.

Tissue-separating capacity of growth cartilages.

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  • 1Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Finland.


The tissue-separating capacity of chondral structures has been debated for more than 30 years, and one aspect that has particularly been questioned is whether the secondary cartilage of the mandibular condyle is comparable to primary growth cartilage, e.g. the epiphyseal growth plate. The present report summarizes information gained by using a specific interosseal transplantation method. These findings lead to the conclusion that all the structures examined, i.e. the proximal epiphyseal cartilage of the tibia, the cartilage of the costochondral junction of the ribs, the basicranial synchondroses, the medial cartilage of the clavicle and the mandibular condyle, have the capacity to separate adjoining skeletal structures. The changes induced by the transplanted structures in the recipient area vary, however, suggesting a hierarchial arrangement of cartilages with regard to their tissue-separating capacity. It is suggested that the tissue-separating capacity is a basic phenomenon in the function of growth, not only of primary growth cartilages, but of secondary cartilages as well.

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