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February 6, 1943

Changes in the Knee Joint at Various Ages: With Particular Reference to the Nature and Development of Degenerative Joint Disease

JAMA. 1943;121(6):469. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840060087027

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The authors report a study of knee joints of 63 persons ranging in age from 1 month to 90 years, removed post mortem or by amputation. The investigation was made on material taken only from patients without a record or physical findings of joint disease and was undertaken primarily to establish a norm for degenerative changes seen in these joints with advancing age. Other factors, such as excessive trauma and associated specific joint disease, were thus ruled out as possible agents in the pathogenesis of the lesions described.

Complete macroscopic, microscopic and x-ray studies were made of all joints. Detailed microscopic examination of weight bearing, non-weight bearing, contacting and noncontacting, as well as the marginal areas of the joint surfaces with reference to osteophyte formation were made. Changes in the menisci, synovia and blood vessels were correlated with the changes noted in the cartilaginous and bony components of the joints.

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