Laxity characteristics of normal and pathological murine knee joints in vitro

Gerjo J.V.M. van Osch*, Leendert Blankevoort, Peter M. van der Kraan, Bernard Janssen, Edsko Hekman, Rik Huiskes, Wim B. van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The aim of this study was to validate a device developed previously to measure laxity of murine knee joints and to investigate whether experimentally induced pathological conditions result in measurable laxity. The laxity characteristics of normal murine knee joints were derived from measurements of 25 left knees of normal mice. Reporducible, nonlinear s‐shaped load‐displacement curves were determined, and parameters of anterior‐posterior translation, varus‐valgus rotation, and compliance were calculated from the curves. No differences were found between the left and right knee joints of eight mice. The average displacement between 0.8 N of anterior force and 0.8 N of posterior force was 0.47 ± 0.10 mm. The endpoint compliances for anterior and posterior displacements were 0.16 ± 0.03 and 0.16 ± 0.04 mm/N, respectively. The average rotation between a 4 Nmm valgus moment and a 4 Nmm varus moment was 17.4 ± 3.3°. The endpoint compliances for varsus and valgus rotations were 1.1 ± 0.7 and 1.0 ± 0.3°/Nmm, respectively. Storage of the joints at −70°C had no effect on laxity. We also studied the parameters of laxity after pathology of the knee joint was induced. Zymosan‐induced or antigen‐induced arthritis did not increase laxity of the joint. In an osteoarthritis model induced by injection of collagenase, laxity was markedly increased. In conclusion, laxity in the knees of mice can be measured reproducibly, and changes in the characteristics of laxity due to pathological conditions can be quantified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-791
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of orthopaedic research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


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