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J Orthop Res. 2003 Jan;21(1):6-13.

MicroCT evaluation of normal and osteoarthritic bone structure in human knee specimens.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-1290, USA.


Although trabecular bone structure has been evaluated, variation with knee compartment and depth from joint surface is not completely understood. Cadaver knees were evaluated with microcomputed tomography analysis for these variations. Objective differences were compared between: medial vs. lateral compartments; femoral vs. tibial bone; and normal vs. arthritic knees. Depth dependent changes in the parameters were observed for the first 6 mm of the cores in normal knees: BV/TV, Tb.N and Conn.D gradually decrease, while Tb.Sp and SMI increase. In the first 6 mm of the normal tibia BV/TV, Tb.N, and Tb.Th are greater than in the femur on both the medial and lateral compartments while Tb.Sp, SMI, and Conn.D are lower. The medial compartment values for BV/TV, Tb.N, Tb.Th and Conn.D are generally greater than for the lateral in both the femur and tibia while Tb.Sp and SMI are lower. In comparison of normal vs. arthritic knees significant differences are observed in the first 6 mm of the medial tibia. With arthritis BV/TV and Tb.Th are lower, while SMI and Tb.Sp are higher. Tb.N and Conn.D show no statistically significant difference. The bone structure variations are, thus, most prominent in the first 6 mm of depth and medial compartment bone is generally more structurally sound than lateral. Severely arthritic bone changes are most prominent in the medial compartment of the tibia and bone structure is less sound in severe arthritis.

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