Objectives To compare the findings of knee joint arthroscopy and radiological stages in osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods Arthroscopy was carried out in twenty four knee OA (I-III degree by A. Larsen) patients by ‘STORZ’ apparatus with photoinsrumental set. Six basic zones of knee joint were analysed: patella, trochlears, a lateral and medial arthicular tibial and femoral surfaces. Cartilage damage was assessed by Bequin and Lockeir according 5 degrees: normal cartilage (0), cartilage fibrillation (I deg.), surface fissures and/or surface erosions baring subchondral bone (III deg), bared subchondral bone (IV deg.). Synovitis was analysed by 3 degrees: mild, moderate and severe.
Results The character and depth of cartilage destruction in different zone of knee joint is not the same. Patella cartilage was damaged in all patients independently of radiological stages. Deep cartilage fissures were found in the 1st radiological OA stage in all areas of knee joint with the exception of lateral surface of the tibia. Synovitis intensity has no correlation with X-ray stages.
Conclusion According to arthroscopy data there was no correlation between degree of articular destruction and ‘early’ radiological OA stages. Arthroscopy of OA knee joint is the method for real assessment of hyaline cartilage structural changes and synovial inflammation.
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