Destabilization of the medial meniscus and cartilage scratch murine model of accelerated osteoarthritis

Lynette Dunning, Kendal McCulloch, John C. Lockhart, Carl S. Goodyear, Carmen Huesa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent musculoskeletal disease in people over 45, leading to an increasing economic and societal cost. Animal models are used to mimic many aspects of the disease. The present protocol describes the destabilization and cartilage scratch model (DCS) of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Based on the widely used destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) model, DCS introduces three scratches on the cartilage surface. The current article highlights the steps to destabilize the knee by transecting the medial meniscotibial ligament followed by three intentional superficial scratches on the articular cartilage. The possible analysis methods by dynamic weight-bearing, microcomputed tomography, and histology are also demonstrated. While the DCS model is not recommended for studies that focus on the effect of osteoarthritis on the cartilage, it enables the study of osteoarthritis development in a shorter time window, with special focus on (1) osteophyte formation, (2) osteoarthritic and injury pain, and (3) the effect of cartilage damage in the whole joint.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere64159
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022


  • DMM
  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoarthritis models
  • DCS


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