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An Analysis Of The Stresses In A Thin Layer Of Articular Cartilage In A Synovial Joint

C G Armstrong

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The stresses to which articular cartilage is subjected during its normal function undoubtedly influence its useful life. A simple yet rigorous approximate analysis of cartilage loading has been developed which allows cartilage stresses, strains and deformations to be determined from the thickness and material properties of the cartilage and its surface loading. Using this analysis to examine the probability of cartilage failure suggests that the pressure gradients and distribution in a joint are probably as important as the absolute values of pressure. The analysis also helps to explain certain characteristics of the cartilage and certain types of cartilage failure.