Degeneration of articular cartilage begins from deterioration of the collagen fibres in the superficial zone. Standard histology using 2D imaging technique is often used to determine the microstructure of collagen fibres and the physiological functions of articular cartilage. However, information of the 3D collageneous structure in the cartilage could be lost and misinterpreted in 2D observations. In contrast, confocal microscopy permits studying the 3D internal structure of bulk articular cartilage with minimal physical disturbing. Using fibre optic laser scanning confocal microscopy, a 3D histology has been previously developed to visualize the collagen matrix in the superficial zone by means of identifying the early arthritic changes in articular cartilage. In this study, we characterized the collagen orientation in the superficial zone of normal cartilage, the cartilage with surface disruption and fibrillated cartilage using Fast Fourier transforms and power spectral analysis techniques. Thus, we have established an objective method for assessing the early pathology changes in the articular cartilage.