Bone and Joint Institute


Morphological and Apparent-Level Stiffness Variations Between Normal and Osteoarthritic Bone in the Humeral Head

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Journal of Orthopaedic Research





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© 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by morphological changes that alter bone structure and mechanical properties. This study compared bone morphometric parameters and apparent modulus between humeral heads excised from end-stage OA patients undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty (n = 28) and non-pathologic normal cadavers (n = 28). Morphometric parameters were determined in central cores, with regional variations compared in four medial to lateral regions. Linear regression compared apparent modulus, morphometric parameters, and age. Micro finite element models estimated trabecular apparent modulus and derived density–modulus relationships. Significant differences were found for bone volume fraction (p < 0.001) and trabecular thickness (p < 0.001) in the most medial regions. No significant differences occurred between morphometric parameters and apparent modulus or age, except in slope between groups for apparent modulus versus trabecular number (p = 0.021), and in intercept for trabecular thickness versus age (p = 0.040). Significant differences occurred in both slope and intercept between density–modulus regression fits for each group (p ≤ 0.001). The normal group showed high correlations in the power-fit (r2 = 0.87), with a lower correlation (r2 = 0.61) and a more linear relationship, in the OA group. This study suggests that alterations in structure and apparent modulus persist mainly in subchondral regions of end-stage OA bone. As such, if pathologic regions are removed during joint replacement, computational models that utilize modeling parameters from non-pathologic normal bone may be applied to end-stage OA bone. An improved understanding of humeral trabecular bone variations has potential to improve the surgical management of end-stage OA patients. © 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 38:503–509, 2020.


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