, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 15-17
Date: 08 Feb 2012

Biomechanical Factors in Osteoarthritis: The Effects of Joint Instability

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Introduction

Osteoarthritis is now appropriately recognized as a joint disease (see the article by Robin Poole in this Supplement), and as such, the biomechanical factors that affect its etiology and progression can best be understood by considering the mechanical function of the whole joint.

Biomechanical Consequences of Joint Injury

A diarthrodial joint such as the knee or shoulder is intended to maintain an appropriate functional position throughout its range of motion [4]. Situations often arise, however, in which the ability of the joint to maintain a stable position is hampered by the loss of a beneficial constraint such as a ligament. Such occurrences impact the mechanical burden placed on the joint in important ways. The velocity with which the articular surfaces move relative to one another can increase dramatically in an unstable joint because rapid, large changes in position can occur. Examples include a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which can produce a threefold incre ...