Optical verification of a technique for in situ ultrasonic measurement of articular cartilage thickness

J Biomech. 1989;22(2):171-6. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(89)90041-9.


Several investigators have used pulse-echo ultrasonics to measure the thickness of articular cartilage in situ. The underlying assumption in all measurements was that the second reflection used in thickness calculations was from the calcified-cartilage/cartilage boundary (tidemark). To investigate this assumption, the thickness of 24 cartilage plugs excised from a human femoral head was measured both ultrasonically and optically. Measurements established that the second reflection was from the tidemark and validated the ultrasonic technique as a method of mapping the thickness distribution of articular cartilage in synovial joints in situ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / anatomy & histology
  • Cartilage, Articular / anatomy & histology*
  • Femur Head / anatomy & histology
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Ultrasonography*