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Morphological and biomechanical evaluations of neocartilage from the repair of full-thickness articular cartilage defects using rib perichondrium autografts: A long-term study

Journal of Biomechanics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0021-9290(89)90076-6
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Physics


Abstract Neocartilage regenerated from rib perichondrium autografts implanted into full thickness cartilage defects made in the femoral condyle of rabbit knees were evaluated for periods up to 1 yr. Two postoperative treatment effects were studied, one with ad lib. caged activity (CAGE) and the other with the operated knee placed on a continuous passive motion machine for 2 weeks (8 h day −1 for 5 days week −1) followed by caged activity (PM). Animals were sacrificed at 6, 12, 26 and 52 weeks after surgery. The neocartilage was evaluated histologically and biomechanically and compared with the contralateral unoperated side. Visually, the neocartilage appeared to have an appearance similar to that of surrounding cartilage at 52 weeks, with an excellent degree of confluence with the neighboring tissue. The newly grown tissues were morphologically similar to normal hyaline articular cartilage. The dynamic shear moduli for the neocartilage from both the CAGE and PM groups significantly increased with postoperative healing time ( p<0.05). However, there was no statistical difference between the two treatment modalities ( p>0.10), indicating that the passive motion did not enhance the long-term repair of the cartilage defect. These results support our hypothesis that neocartilage regenerated from perichondrial autograft remains intact over time.

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