Danielson KC, Manley PA, Muir P, Noel Fitzpatrick
To determine if fatigue microdamage is associated with fragmented medial coronoid process (FMCP).
MCP specimens from affected elbows were classified into 4 groups based on disease severity. Specimens were bulk-stained for microdamage using 1% basic fuchsin, embedded in polymethylmethacrylate and sectioned at 130 microm. Specimens were evaluated using epifluorescent microscopy (425-440 excitation, 475 nm barrier filter) for diffuse damage (D.DX), osteocyte loss, and porosity. Cartilage thickness was evaluated using bright field microscopy. Qualitative observations were also made.
MCP specimens from affected elbows had increased D.Dx, increased osteocyte loss, and greater porosity than normal groups. Specimens classified as severe FMCP (Classes 3, 4) had the most fatigue microdamage. Some Class 1 specimens, defined as having no visible fissuring of the articular cartilage (AC), had large microcracks in trabecular bone
Accumulation of fatigue microdamage in the MCP is important in the pathogenesis of FMCP. The underlying cause of this microdamage accumulation must be identified before treatment plans that will prevent further osteoarthritis of the elbow joint can be des