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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Acute and Stress-related Injuries of Bone and Cartilage: Pertinent Anatomy, Basic Biomechanics, and Imaging Perspective.

  • Author(s): Pathria, Mini N
  • Chung, Christine B
  • Resnick, Donald L
  • et al.

Bone or cartilage, or both, are frequently injured related to either a single episode of trauma or repetitive overuse. The resulting structural damage is varied, governed by the complex macroscopic and microscopic composition of these tissues. Furthermore, the biomechanical properties of both cartilage and bone are not uniform, influenced by the precise age and activity level of the person and the specific anatomic location within the skeleton. Of the various histologic components that are found in cartilage and bone, the collagen fibers and bundles are most influential in transmitting the forces that are applied to them, explaining in large part the location and direction of the resulting internal stresses that develop within these tissues. Therefore, thorough knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of normal bone and cartilage serves as a prerequisite to a full understanding of both the manner in which these tissues adapt to physiologic stresses and the patterns of tissue failure that develop under abnormal conditions. Such knowledge forms the basis for more accurate assessment of the diverse imaging features that are encountered following acute traumatic and stress-related injuries to the skeleton. (©) RSNA, 2016.

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