A primary goal in considering treatment for meniscal injuries is the preservation of the health of the articular cartilage. However, the chondroprotective effects of various techniques for meniscal injury treatments are unknown. We used a canine model to quantify articular cartilage degeneration in the medial compartment of the canine knee, resulting from a surgically created tear or a partial meniscectomy (PM) of the posterior region of the medial meniscus (each group, n = 10). After sacrifice at 12 weeks, the development of gross chondropathy and the changes in cartilage tensile stiffness were quantified, and correlations between these measurements were examined. Both treatment surgical treatment groups caused significantly greater gross chondropathy as compared to the unoperated contralateral controls. Cartilage tensile stiffness was significantly lower than unoperated controls by nearly 28% in both experimental groups. However, there were no significant differences observed between the gross chondropathy or the cartilage mechanical property changes between the experimental groups. Importantly, the severity of gross chondropathy was found to significantly correlate with the decrement in tensile stiffness properties of the articular cartilage. These findings indicate that significant degeneration of canine articular cartilage develops to a similar degree in the presence of a partially healed meniscus tear or a PM of the knee.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1002
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Articular cartilage
  • Chondropathy
  • Mechanical properties
  • Meniscectomy
  • Meniscus injury
  • Partial meniscectomy
  • Tensile properties


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