Background: The current study aimed to determine whether the acoustic properties of living human cartilage during arthroscopy differ between damage from trauma and that from pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS). Methods: Nine patients were evaluated with ultrasound during arthroscopy. As a quantitative index of cartilage quality, the percentage maximal magnitude (maximal magnitude of the measurement area divided by that of the intact cartilage; %MM) was selected. After ultrasound evaluation, the measurement points were divided into two groups on the basis of the etiologic findings (group T: cartilage damage from trauma and group P: cartilage damage from PVNS) and analyzed for the presence of significant differences in ultrasound analysis. Results: In the ultrasound findings, the %MM values ranged from 34.4% to 92.3%. According to the etiologic differences, the mean %MM was 81.0% in group T and 39.3% in group P, and significantly higher in group T than in group P (p < 0.01). Conclusions: This study showed a correlation between the ultrasound results and the cartilage lesion etiology. Ultrasound evaluation may be useful for elucidating the process of articular cartilage degeneration with trauma and PVNS.
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