Meniscal ossification in spontaneous osteoarthritis in the guinea-pig

R D Kapadia, A M Badger, J M Levin, B Swift, A Bhattacharyya, R A Dodds, R W Coatney, M W Lark
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2000, 8 (5): 374-7

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ossification state of the meniscus in the guinea-pig stifle joint using micro-computerized tomography.

DESIGN: Hind limbs from six (N=12) and 24 (N=11) month-old male Hartley guinea-pigs were removed and the joints were imaged using high resolution micro-computerized tomography. The ossified volume of the medial and lateral menisci from both groups of animals was quantified.

RESULTS: Ossification of both the medial and lateral menisci of the both the 6- and 24-month-old animals was observed. In both age groups, the ossified region of the medial meniscus was significantly larger than the lateral meniscus. In addition, there is a significant increase in ossified volume of the medial meniscus between 6 and 24 months of age.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant amount of ossification of the menisci in the male Hartley guinea-pig, with the medial compartment showing more bone than the lateral. In addition, as the animals age, there is an increase in ossification within the medial compartment. Bone remodeling and cartilage degeneration is evident in the medial compartment within these animals as they age. It is possible that the increased ossification of the medial meniscus could alter the joint biomechanics and, in part, stimulate this medial compartment joint destruction.

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