Research Article| Volume 23, P186-191, 1970

Articular cartilage loss in long-standing immobilisation of interphalangeal joints

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      Articular cartilage changes are observed in stiff joints where parts of a joint surface are not in contact with opposing cartilage. The unused cartilage surface becomes irregular, fissured and covered by a capillary network. Later defects in the matrix become filled by connective tissue and a vascular proliferation invades the cartilage margin and erodes subchondral bone, to which the overlying joint capsule becomes adherent. The changes resemble those in experimental animals, and their pathology and clinical significance are discussed.


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