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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1977 Feb;59(1):24-35.

An experimental model of osteoarthritis; early morphological and biochemical changes.


An experimental model of osteoarthritis resulting from laxity of the joint was induced in eighteen mature dogs (at least two years old) by sectioning the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee (stifle) with a stab incision, the left knee providing a control. A sham operation was also performed in three other dogs, in which a stab incision was made but the ligament left intact. The dogs were killed at various intervals from one to forty-eight weeks later. Morphological changes in bone, cartilage, synovial membrane and joint capsule were examined in all the joints and biochemical changes in the cartilage of three dogs killed after two, eight, and sixteen weeks. All the changes resulting from the operation progressed with time and became indistinguishable from those found in three dogs with natural osteoarthritis of the knee. There were no changes in the joints which had sham operations. As the time of onset is known, this experimental model in a larger species enables a study to be made of the biochemical as well as the morphological changes in the early stages of osteoarthritis.

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