Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 10 Jan 2022

Eburnation describes the appearance of bone following a degenerative process in which subchondral or otherwise exposed bone acquires a non-anatomical sclerotic, microimpacted, and "polished" articular surface.

This phenomenon typically arises in one of two situations:

Radiographic features


Non-specific sclerosis at involved margins, in context of concomitant evidence of one of the above two situations.


Appearances can be complex and feature non-intuitive T1 and T2 signal owing to multiple combined histological phenomena.

History and etymology

Eburnation is derived from the Latin "eburneus" meaning "of ivory", from "ebur" meaning "ivory" 1.

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