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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the level of disease severity in a pilot cohort of temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and compare them to the pathology findings previously characterized in cadaveric knee joints.

DESIGN: Thirty-one intact TMJs from 17 cadaveric donors were harvested and arthritic lesioning seen in the knee joint was investigated on the condyle and the fossa of the TMJ. Prevalence of gross alterations was equated and disease severity was determined for sex- and age-based donor pools using a validated, osteoarthritis (OA) disease severity scale (DSS). Knee joint DSS scores were also compared to the TMJ condyle and fossa DSS scores and a case study was carried out on a male donor that demonstrated severe OA in the both joints.

RESULTS: The mandibular fossa demonstrated an increase in disease severity compared to the mandibular condyle in a mixed sex donor pool (

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that gross signs of OA in the TMJs of cadavers are comparable to pathology found in the knee. The mandibular fossa appears to be the site of more profound disease, implying translational movements may be more likely to induce biomechanically abnormal movement, loading, and OA.


articular cartilage, diagnosis, knee joint, osteoarthritis, temporomandibular joint, tissue



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