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01.09.2009 | Knee | Ausgabe 9/2009

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 9/2009

Immunohistochemical study of mechanoreceptors in the tibial remnant of the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in human knees

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 9/2009
Byung Ill Lee, Kyung Dae Min, Hyung Suk Choi, Sai Won Kwon, Dong Il Chun, Eun Soo Yun, Dong Wha Lee, So Young Jin, Jae Ho Yoo


This study was performed to identify the mechanoreceptors in the tibial remnants of ruptured human anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) by immunohistochemical staining. Thirty-six specimens of tibial ACL remnants were obtained from patients with ACL ruptures during arthroscopic ACL reconstruction. As control, two normal ACL specimens were taken from healthy knee amputated at thigh level due to trauma. The specimen was serially sectioned at 40 μm. In control group, the average number of sections per specimen was 132, and a total of 264 slices were available. In remnant group, the average number of sections per specimen was 90, and a total of 3,251 slices were available. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to detect the neural element of mechanoreceptors. Histologic examinations were performed under a light microscope and interpreted by a pathologist. Nineteen (8 Ruffini, 11 Golgi) mechanoreceptors were identified in the two normal ACLs, which were evenly distributed at both tibial and femoral attachments. In the remnant group, mechanoreceptors were observed in 12 out of 36 cases (33%), and a total of 17 (6 Ruffini and 11 Golgi) mechanoreceptors observed. No significant differences in the harvest volume, number of sections, age, or time between injury to surgery was observed between the 12 mechanoreceptor-present and the 24 mechanoreceptor-absent ones. The presence of mechanoreceptor at the tibial remnants of torn ACLs was verified. The immunohistochemical staining methodology proved useful, but requires further refinement. Although the mechanoreceptors were detected relatively less frequently than expected, the authors consider that it does not negate the necessity of remnant-preserving ACL reconstruction.

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