Is subchondral bone cyst formation in non-load-bearing region of osteoarthritic knee a vascular problem?

Med Hypotheses. 2017 Nov;109:80-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2017.09.027. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Subchondral bone cyst is common in the progressive knee osteoarthritis yet its underlying mechanism remains unclear. In addition to the existing theories such as synovial fluid influx and mechanical contusion, we identified the potential link between vascular pathology and osteoarthritic bone pathologies including cystic lesion formation, particularly in the non-load-bearing region. This new hypothesis for SBC formation in non-load-bearing region for knee, which cannot be explained by the existing theories, will provide us a new angle to understand the pathomechanism and pathophysiology of subchondral bone disturbance in osteoarthritis in addition to the classical biomechanical overloading theories. It might guide us to develop a novel diagnostic and therapeutic approach to treat progressive osteoarthritis via targeting vascular pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Pressure
  • Bone Cysts / complications
  • Bone Cysts / physiopathology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Synovial Fluid
  • Vascular Diseases / complications
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Weight-Bearing