Author(s): Menche DS, Frenkel SR, Blair B, Watnik NF, Toolan BC,
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to observe the difference in healing of full-thickness articular cartilage defects treated with burr arthroplasty versus subchondral drilling. Cartilage was shaved off the medial femoral condyles of 39 rabbits without penetrating the subchondral plate. In left knees, two 2.0-mm holes were drilled into the condyle until bleeding was obtained. Right knees underwent a burr arthroplasty until punctate bleeding was observed. Animals were sacrificed at 6, 12, and 24 weeks postoperatively. Joint resurfacing and degenerative changes were evaluated grossly and histologically. Degenerative changes in the cartilage surface were observed with both treatments. Rabbits undergoing subchondral drilling had increased fibrocartilaginous healing with time, with a slight increase in degenerative changes. With burr arthroplasty, there was significant decrease in cartilaginous coverage of the exposed surface as well as progressive increase in degenerative changes. Although both techniques were suboptimal, histological evidence at 6 months suggests that subchondral drilling may result in a longer-lived repair than abrasion arthroplasty in the treatment of full-thickness lesions.
This article was published in Arthroscopy
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta