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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2012 Mar;20(3):423-35. doi: 10.1007/s00167-011-1818-0. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Biomechanical considerations in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis of the knee.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and a major cause of disability. The knee is the large joint most affected. While chronological age is the single most important risk factor of osteoarthritis, the pathogenesis of knee osteoarthritis in the young patient is predominantly related to an unfavorable biomechanical environment at the joint. This results in mechanical demand that exceeds the ability of a joint to repair and maintain itself, predisposing the articular cartilage to premature degeneration. This review examines the available basic science, preclinical and clinical evidence regarding several such unfavorable biomechanical conditions about the knee: malalignment, loss of meniscal tissue, cartilage defects and joint instability or laxity. Level of evidence IV.

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