NOVEL CHARACTERISATION OF ARTICULAR CARTILAGE IN THE EQUINE ATHLETIC JOINT

  • W. Kim
  • N. D. Broom
Keywords: equine middle carpal, articular cartilage, swelling, osteoarthritis, contact stress.

Abstract

We present a novel method of characterising articular cartilage using its free-swelling behaviour. We have attempted to quantify the site-specific matrix swelling properties of the third (C3) and radius carpal (Cr) cartilage from middle carpal joints obtained from 18 month-old Thoroughbred horses. The highly stressed dorsal region produced 63.7% more swelling than the lesser loaded palmar region (22.6% vs. 13.9%). For any given site there was a strong depth-dependence of swelling with the mid-zone being the highest (p = 0.0002). The technique was sufficiently sensitive to detect an increased swelling of +4.23% in sites with a mild lesion relative to those sites that were lesion free (p = 0.04).