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Scripta Scientifica Medica


S. Dyankova, G. Marinov, D. Kambourov


Wrist joints are a complex system whose functioning depends on a number of factors. The most significant of them are the status/condition of discus articularis and the cartilages covering joint surfaces. This study on cadaver hands of elderly people (60 years old and over) covered the changes in joint cartilages and discus articularis and the role of these changes for the functional discomfort of wrist joints. The condition of the joints mentioned above has been observed with a magnifying glass (3x) in twelve cadaver hands. Material for light microscope observation was taken from  representative parts of discus articularis. The scopic investigation revealed erosions on the surface of the radiocarpal and mediocarpal joints cartilage. Such erosions were observed in two cases (16,67%) in radiocarpal joint and in 5 cases (41,67%) in mediocarpal joint. The microscopic observation showed indentations and fissures on the discus articularis surface, some of which filled with residual material. Some erosions have grown into fissures penetrating deeper. A decrease in the number of chondrocytes in discus articularis has been detected together with homogenization of extracellular matrix especially in their deeper layers. In the closest proximity with the cartilage surface, isogenous groups with a decreased number of chondrocytes were found out. Degenerative changes were established in chondrocytes, vacuoles being formed at the site of the dead chondrocytes. The extracellular halo substituted the fibrilated territorial matrix. A decreased cell number was observed in the overall structure of discus articularis. These changes in the structure of joint cartilage and discus articularis due to age are brought up for a discussion as a cause of possible functional discomfort in wrist joints often accompanied by a vague pain syndrome.


wrist joint; wrist bone; articular disc; articular cartilage; chondrocytes; histology

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S. Dyankova

G. Marinov

D. Kambourov

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