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Computational Biomechanics Of Articular Cartilage Of Human Knee Joint: Effect Of Osteochondral Defects.

R. Shirazi, A. Shirazi-Adl
Published 2009 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Articular cartilage and its supporting bone functional conditions are tightly coupled as injuries of either adversely affects joint mechanical environment. The objective of this study was set to quantitatively investigate the extent of alterations in the mechanical environment of cartilage and knee joint in presence of commonly observed osteochondral defects. An existing validated finite element model of a knee joint was used to construct a refined model of the tibial lateral compartment including proximal tibial bony structures. The response was computed under compression forces up to 2000 N while simulating localized bone damage, cartilage-bone horizontal split, bone overgrowth and absence of deep vertical collagen fibrils. Localized tibial bone damage increased overall joint compliance and substantially altered pattern and magnitude of contact pressures and cartilage strains in both tibia and femur. These alterations were further exacerbated when bone damage was combined with base cartilage split and absence of deep vertical collagen fibrils. Local bone boss markedly changed contact pressures and strain patterns in neighbouring cartilage. Bone bruise/fracture and overgrowth adversely perturbed the homeostatic balance in the mechanical environment of articulate cartilage surrounding and opposing the lesion as well as the joint compliance. As such, they potentially contribute to the initiation and development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
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