Relationship between morphologic features and hardness of the subchondral bone of the medial tibial condyle in the normal state and in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Paul Lereim
  • Ian F. Goldie


In osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis the hardness of the subchondral bone of the medial tibial plateau is lower than in normals. In order to further analyse this study of the morphologic characteristics in bone from the mentioned region was carried out in 22 normals, 14 osteoarthritis and 12 rheumatoid arthritis. Specimens from these groups were subjected to a radiologic assay, a light microscopic investigation and an evaluation of the occurrence of intraosseous lipids. The normals showed a remarkable integrity of the subchondral trabecular network with advancing age only with slight osteoporosis and occasional sclerosis. In osteoarthritis there were osteoporosis, osteolysis, sclerosis and osteophytes all in good correlation to the grade of osteoarthritis present. In rheumatoid arthritis there were areas of rarefaction, fractures of the trabeculae, sclerosis and invasion of granulation tissue. The radiologic appearance corresponded well with the morphologic observation. No abnormal presence of lipids was encountered. This investigation supports the concept that the hardness of the subchondral bone of the medial tibial plateau much depends on the morphologic structure of the bone.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Osteoporosis Osteoarthritis Subchondral Bone Radiologic Appearance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Die Härte im subchondralen Knochen des medialen Tibiakondyls ist viel höher in normalem Zustand verglichen mit der bei Arthrosis deformans und rheumatoider Arthritis. Diese Verhältnisse sind analysiert gegen den Hintergrund von morphologischen Veränderungen in Präparaten der Normalfälle und solchen bei Arthrosis deformans und rheumatoider Arthritis mit radiologischen, mikroskopischen und lipidchemischen Methoden. Die Untersuchungen zeigen 12 Normalfälle, 14 Arthrosis deformans-Fälle und 12 Rheumatoide Arthritis-Fälle. Die Normalfälle haben eine offenbare Integrität des subchondralen Trabekelsystems gezeigt. Mit steigendem Alter waren nur mäßige Osteoporosis und Sklerosis sichtbar. Bei der Arthrosis deformans waren in guter Korrelation mit dem Grad der Arthrosis nach Collins Osteoporosis, Osteolysis, Sklerosis und Osteophyten sichtbar. Bei rheumatoider Arthritis waren Cysten, trabekuläre Frakturen, Sklerosis und Invasion von Granulationsgewebe sichtbar. Die röntgenologischen Befunde haben wohl mit den morphologischen Verteilungen übereinzustimmen. Kein abnormes Vorkommen von Lipiden wurde beobachtet. Diese Untersuchungen zeigen, daß die Härte im subchondralen Knochen sehr abhängig von der morphologischen Struktur des Knochens ist.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, C. W.: A histochemical method for the simultaneous demonstration of normal and degenerating myelin. J. Path. Bact. 77, 649–650 (1959)Google Scholar
  2. American Rheumatism Association. Diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. 1958 revision. Ann. rheum. Dis. 1849, 1958Google Scholar
  3. Behrens, J. C., Walker, T. S., Shoji, H.: Variations in strength and structure of cancellous bone at the knee. J. Biomech. 7, 201–207 (1974)Google Scholar
  4. Bergström, W. H., Bell, E. H.: The relationship of sodium and potassium in bone. J. biol. Chem. 206, 711–733 (1954)Google Scholar
  5. Carlström, D.: Microhardness majorment on single Haversian systems in bone 1954. Experientia (Basel) 10, 171–172 (1954)Google Scholar
  6. Clausen, F. P., Dabelsteen, E.: Increase in sensitivity of the rhodamine B method for keratinization by the use of fluorescent light. Acta path. microbiol. scand. 77, 169–171 (1969)Google Scholar
  7. Collins, D. H.: The pathology of articular and spinal diseases. London: E. Arnold 1949Google Scholar
  8. Davies, D. V.: Ageing changes in joints. In: Structural aspects of bone (ed. G. Bourne), pp. 21–37. London: Pitman Medical Publishing Co. 1961Google Scholar
  9. Fullmer, H. M.: Histochemical studies of mineralized tissues. Ann. Histochim. 11, 369–374 (1966)Google Scholar
  10. Gardner, D. L.: The pathology of rheumatoid arthritis. London: E. Arnold 1972Google Scholar
  11. Goldie, I.: Pathomorphologic features in original and regenerated synovial tissues after synovectomy in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin. Orthop. 77, 295–304 (1971)Google Scholar
  12. Goldie, I., Heyden, G.: Unpublished data, 1973Google Scholar
  13. Heyden, G., Magnusson, B., Arwill, T.: Histochemical study of rhodamine B affinity in oral tissues of the mouse. Scand. J. dent. Res. 80, 40–46 (1972)Google Scholar
  14. Ingervall, B., Freden, H., Heyden, G.: A histochemical study of the lipid content of rat alveolar bone after traumatic loading of the teeth. Scand. J. dent. Res. 80, 453–456 (1972)Google Scholar
  15. Lereim, P., Goldie, I., Dahlberg, E.: Hardness of the subchondral bone of the tibial condyles in the normal state and in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Acta orthop. scand. 45, 614–627 (1974a)Google Scholar
  16. Lereim, P., Langeland, N., Romanus, B., Petersen, J. E., Goldie, I.: A biochemical analysis of subchondral bone of the medial tibial condyle in the normal state and in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Acta orthop. scand. To be published (1974b)Google Scholar
  17. Mills, K.: Pathology of the knee joint in rheumatoid arthritis. J. Bone Jt Surg. 52-B, 746–756 (1970)Google Scholar
  18. Robinson, R. A., Elliot, S. R.: The water content of bone. I. The mass of water in organic crystals, organic matrix and CO2 space components in a unit volume of dog bone. J. Bone Jt Surg. 39-A, 167–175 (1957)Google Scholar
  19. Sokoloff, L.: In: Arthritis and allied conditions (ed. J. L. Hollander), 7th Ed., pp. 187–210, 849–869. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger 1966Google Scholar
  20. Sokoloff, L.: The biology of degenerative joint disease. Chicago-London: The university of Chicago Press 1969Google Scholar
  21. Strandh, I., Norlén, H.: Distribution per volume bone tissue of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen from individuals of varying ages as compared with distribution per unit weight. Acta orthop. scand. 35, 257–267 (1965)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© J. F. Bergmann 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Lereim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ian F. Goldie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery IIUniversity of GöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Sophies Minde Ortopedisk HospitalUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations