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01.06.2014 | Experimental Study | Ausgabe 6/2014

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 6/2014

Influence of basal support and early loading on bone cartilage healing in press-fitted osteochondral autografts

Zeitschrift:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 6/2014
Autoren:
Tomasz L. Nosewicz, Mikel L. Reilingh, Martin Wolny, C. Niek van Dijk, Georg N. Duda, Hanna Schell
Wichtige Hinweise
Study performed at the Julius Wolff Institute and Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Purpose

The influence of basal graft support combined to early loading following an osteochondral autograft procedure is unclear. It was hypothesized that bottomed grafts may allow for early mobilization by preventing graft subsidence and leading to better healing.

Methods

Osteochondral autografts were press fitted in the femoral condyles of 24 sheep (one graft per animal). In the unbottomed group (n = 12), a gap of 2 mm was created between graft and recipient bone base. In the bottomed group (n = 12), the graft firmly rested on recipient bone. Animals were allowed immediate postoperative weightbearing. Healing times were 3 and 6 months per group (n = 6 per subgroup). After killing, histological and histomorphometric analyses were performed.

Results

Unbottomed grafts at 3 months showed significantly more graft subsidence (P = 0.024), significantly less mineralized bone (P = 0.028) and significantly worse cartilage and subchondral bone plate healing (P = 0.034) when compared to bottomed grafts. At 6 months, no differences were seen. Compared to the native situation, unbottomed grafts showed significantly more graft subsidence (P = 0.024), whereas bottomed grafts did not. Cystic lesions were seen in both groups. Osteoclasts were closely related to the degree of bone remodelling.

Conclusion

In the animal model, in the case of early loading, bottomed osteochondral autografts have less chance of graft subsidence. Evident subsidence negatively influences the histological healing process. In the osteochondral autograft procedure, full graft support should be aimed for. This may allow for early mobilization, diminish graft subsidence and improve long-term integration.

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