Author(s): Huch K, Kuettner KE, Dieppe P
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Abstract Ankle and knee joints differ in their susceptibility to osteoarthritis (OA). This article reviews literature on differences between these joints. A Medline search and search of bibliographies of review articles was conducted. Knee cartilage degeneration leads to the development of OA with clinical symptoms, whereas the ankle cartilage develops fissures that do not appear to progress to later stages of OA. Epidemiological studies support these findings. Factors that might explain this phenomena include differences in joint motion, cartilage thickness, congruency, mechanical forces, and even evolutionary changes. Data suggest that chondrocytes from the two joints may respond differently to stimuli. Comparisons of cartilage from the knee and ankle joint of the same donor may provide a better understanding of the biochemical and molecular processes that induce the pathogenesis of OA and may provide new approaches to early detection and treatment.
This article was published in Semin Arthritis Rheum
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis