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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effect of lateral meniscectomy and osteochondral grafting of a lateral femoral condylar defect on contact mechanics: a cadaveric study in dogs

Christina J Choate1, Stanley E Kim1, Caleb C Hudson1, David Spreng2 and Antonio Pozzi1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Comparative Orthopaedics and Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, 2015 SW 16th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

2 Division of Small Animal Surgery and Orthopedics, Vetsuisse Faculty Bern, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Bern, Länggassstrasse 128, 3012, Bern, Switzerland

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BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:53  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-53

Published: 22 March 2013



Osteochondral autograft transfer (OAT) aims at restoring normal articular cartilage surface geometry and articular contact mechanics. To date, no studies have evaluated the contact mechanics of the canine stifle following OAT. Additionally, there are no studies that evaluated the role of the meniscus in contact mechanics following OAT in human or canine femorotibial joints. The objective of this study was to measure the changes in femorotibial contact areas (CA), mean contact pressure (MCP) and peak contact pressure (PCP) before and after osteochondral autograft transplantation (OAT) of a simulated lateral femoral condylar cartilage defect with an intact lateral meniscus and following lateral meniscectomy.


With an intact lateral meniscus, creation of an osteochondral defect caused a decrease in MCP and PCP by 11% and 30%, respectively, compared to the intact stifle (p < 0.01). With an intact meniscus, implanting an osteochondral graft restored MCP and PCP to 96% (p = 0.56) and 92% (p = 0.41) of the control values. Lateral meniscectomy with grafting decreased CA by 54% and increased PCP by 79% compared to the intact stifle (p < 0.01).


OAT restored contact pressures in stifles with a simulated lateral condylar defect when the meniscus was intact. The lateral meniscus has a significant role in maintaining normal contact pressures in both stifles with a defect or following OAT. Meniscectomy should be avoided when a femoral condylar defect is present and when performing OAT.

Osteochondral autograft transfer; Contact mechanics; Pressure; Meniscus; Meniscectomy