The sequence of vascular and bony changes that precedes experimental osteoarthritis was observed in rabbits. The subchondral bone underlying the weight-bearing portion of the medial tibial condyle and the talocalcaneal joint were examined after two, three, and six weeks of 50-ms and 500-ms repetitive loading at 1 Hz for 40 minutes each day. Vascular alterations were evident in the subchondral bone of the talocalcaneal joint after three weeks of a 50-ms load regime. A 10% increase in bone mass and a significant increase in the number of small diameter vessels were observed after six weeks. No changes were observed in the tibial subchondral bone, consistent with the measured attenuation of load distal to this joint. No changes were observed in either tibial or calcaneal subchondral bone in the 500-ms load group. Impulsive loading promotes early vascular changes in subchondral bone, which are developed in response to both the magnitude and the rate of loading.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine