1. Buckwalter JA, Mankin HJ: Articular cartilage: Part I. Tissue design and chondrocyte-matrix interactions. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1997;79:600-611.
Aggrecans – An aggregating form of proteoglycan composed of many glycosaminoglycan chains bound to a protein core
Osteoarthritis (OA), also referred to as degenerative joint disease, is characterized by a generally progressive loss of articular cartilage accompanied by attempted repair of articular cartilage, remodeling, and sclerosis of subchondral bone, and in many instances, the formation of subchondral bone cysts and osteophytes19-24 (Fig. 7).
Injuries that disrupt articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone are referred to as osteochondral fractures.
High-level force applied to articular surfaces can cause articular cartilage ruptures or tears that do not extend into the underlying bone (Fig. 6).
Although articular cartilage can withstand many decades of joint use, excessive force can disrupt the tissue.
Unlike many other tissues, immature articular cartilage differs considerably from adult articular cartilage.
Joint motion and loading are required to maintain the normal composition, structure, and mechanical properties of adult articular cartilage.1,13
Because articular cartilage is an aneural tissue, the nerve impulses that regulate many body processes cannot provide information to chondrocytes.
Despite the lack of a blood supply, articular cartilage chondrocytes have a high level of metabolic activity1 (Fig. 5).
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