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01.03.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2018

Anatomical Science International 2/2018

Effect of ligamentum teres tear on the development of joint instability and articular cartilage damage: an in vivo rabbit study

Anatomical Science International > Ausgabe 2/2018
Jong Hun Baek, Young Soo Chun, Kee Hyung Rhyu, Wan Keun Yoon, Yoon Je Cho


The contribution of the ligamentum teres to the stabilization of the hip joint and the clinical influence of a compromised ligamentum teres are not well known. This study aimed to investigate joint stability and cartilage damage in a rabbit model by surgically inducing a complete ligamentum teres tear. Twenty adult New Zealand rabbits were used in this study. Rabbits were divided into complete ligamentum teres tear with capsulotomy (n = 9, group I) and capsulotomy only (n = 10, group II) groups. Unilateral surgery was performed on the left hip. Joint instability was assessed by measuring the preoperative and postoperative acetabulofemoral (A-F) distances. Rabbits were euthanized to assess cartilage damage at 24 weeks postoperatively. The median postoperative A-F distance of the operated side in group I [0.68 cm (0.37–1.04 cm)] was larger than that in group II [0.50 cm (0.30–0.65 cm)] (p = 0.041). The median postoperative A-F distance was larger in the operated side [0.68 cm (0.37–1.04 cm)] compared to the nonoperated side [0.45 cm (0.30–0.75 cm)] in group I; it also was larger in the operated side [0.50 cm (0.30–0.65 cm)] compared to the nonoperated side [0.44 cm (0.32–0.67 cm)] in group II, but only group I showed a significant difference (p = 0.016 and 0.395, respectively). Articular cartilage damage was detected at the apex of the femoral head in two rabbits (22.2%) in group I only. Rabbits with a complete ligamentum teres tear showed significant instability at the hip joint and articular cartilage damage in our rabbit model, supporting the potential clinical importance of ligamentum teres as a hip joint stabilizer.

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