Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 69–73 | Cite as

Changes in mean trabecular orientation in the medial condyle of the proximal tibia in osteoarthritis

  • L. Kamibayashi
  • U. P. Wyss
  • T. D. V. Cooke
  • B. Zee
Orthopedic Surgical Forum


In osteoarthritis of the knee, degenerative changes occur in the articular cartilage and underlying subchondral bone, particularly of the medial tibial condyle. Cancellous bone sclerosis that accompanies osteoarthritis is not only the result of an increase in bone volume fraction but also a change in trabecular structure. In a comparison with agematched controls (n=4), osteoarthritis (n=11) demonstrated a significant (P≤0.05) increase in bone volume fraction and trabecular thickness. Overal trabecular orientation in the osteoarthritic group was more vertical or perpendicular to the articular surface than the control group (P≤0.05) especially in the trabeculae of the cancellous bone layer closest to the articular surface. These alterations in trabecular bone structure could have significant consequences for the mechanical properties of osteoarthritic bone.

Key words

Trabecular orientation Osteoarthritis Medial tibial condyle Subchondral sclerosis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Radin EL, Paul IL, Rose RM (1972) Role of mechanical factors in the pathogenesis of primary OA. Lancet 2:519–522Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Simon SR, Radin EL, Paul IL, Rose RM (1972) The response of joints to impact loading-II: in vivo behavior of subchondral bone. J Biomech 5:267–272Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Radin EL, Rose RM (1986) Role of subchondral bone in the initiation and progression of cartilage damage. Clin Orthop Rel Res 213:34–40Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Swann AC, Seedhom BB (1993) The stiffness of normal articular cartilage and the predominant acting stress levels: implications for the aetiology of osteoarthrosis. Br J Rheum 32:16–25Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hannan MT, Anderson JJ, Zhang Y, Levy D, Felson DT (1993) Bone mineral density and knee osteoarthritis in elderly men and women. Arthritis Rheum 36:1671–1680Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fazzalari N, Darracott J, Vernon-Roberts B (1985) Histomorphometric changes in the trabecular structure of a selected stress region in the femur in patients with osteoarthritis and fracture of the femoral neck. Bone 6:125–133Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Oettmeier R, Abendroth K (1989) Osteoarthritis and bone: osteologic types of osteoarthritis of the hip. Skeletal Radiol 18: 165–174Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Altman R, Asch E, Bloch D, Bole G, Borenstein D, Brandt K, Christy W, Cooke TDV, Greenwald R, Hochberg M, Howell D, Kaplan D, Koopman W, Longley S, Mankin H, McShane DJ, Medsger T, Meenan R, Mikkelsen W, Moskowitz R, Murphy W, Rothschild B, Segal M, Sokoloff L, Wolfe F (1986) Development of criteria for the classification and reporting of osteoarthritis: classification of osteoarthritis of the knee. Arthritis and Rheum 29:1039–1049Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Foss MVL, Byers PD (1972) Bone density, osteoarthrosis of the hip and fracture of the upper end of the femur. Ann Rheum Dis 31:259–264Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pugh JW, Radin EL, Rose RM (1974) Quantitative studies of human subchondral cancellous bone: its relationship to the state of its overlying cartilage. J Bone Jt Surg 56-A:313–321Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Goldstein SA, Wilson DL, Sonstegard DA, Matthews LS (1983) The mechanical properties of human tibial bone as a function of metaphysial location. J Biomech 16:965–969Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hvid I (1988) Trabecular bone strength at the knee. Clin Orthop Rel Res 227:210–221Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Finlay JB, Bourne RB, Kraemer WJ, Moroz TK, Rorabeck CH (1989) Stiffness of bone underlying the tibial plateau of osteoarthritic and normal knees. Clin Orthop Rel Res 247:193–201Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ciarelli MJ, Goldstein SA, Kuhn JL, Cody DD, Brown MB (1991) Evaluation of orthogonal mechanical properties and density of human trabecular bone from major metaphyseal regions with materials testing and computed tomography. J Orthop Res 9:674–682Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Christensen P, Kjaer J, Melsen F, Nielsen HE, Sneppen O, Vang PS (1982) The subchondral bone of the proximal tibial epiphysis in osteoarthritis of the knee. Acta orthop Scand 53: 889–895Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Grynpas MD, Alpert B, Katz I, Lieberman I, Pritzker KPH (1991) Subchondral bone in osteoarthritis. Calcif Tissue Int 49: 20–26Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shimizu M, Tsuji H, Matsui H, Katoh Y, Sano A (1993) Morphometric analysis of subchondral bone of the tibial condyle in osteoarthrosis. Clin Orthop Rel Res 293:229–239Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fazzalari NL, Crisp DJ, Vernon-Roberts B (1989) Mathematical modelling of trabecular bone structure: the evaluation of analytical and quantified surface to volume relationships in the femoral head and iliac crest. J Biomech 22:901–910Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Parfitt AM, Drezner MK, Glorieux FH, Kanis JA, Malluche H, Meunier PJ, Ott SM, Recker RR (1987) Bone histomorphometry: standardization of nomenclature, symbols and units. J Bone Miner Res 2:595–610Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Roesler H (1987) The history of some fundamental concepts in bone biomechanics. J Biomech 20:1025–1034Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goldstein SA (1987) The mechanical properties of trabecular bone dependence on anatomic location and function. J Biomech 20:1055–1061Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Goulet RW, Goldstein SA, Ciarelli MJ, Kuhn JL, Brown MB, Feldkamp LA (1994) The relationship between the structural and orthogonal compressive properties of trabecular bone. J Biomech 27:375–389Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Kamibayashi
    • 1
  • U. P. Wyss
    • 2
  • T. D. V. Cooke
    • 3
  • B. Zee
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Clinical Mechanics GroupQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.King Faisal Specialist HospitalRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  4. 4.Clinical Trials GroupQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada

Personalised recommendations