Morphologie study of induced osteochondral defects of the distal portion of the radial carpal bone in horses by use of glued periosteal autografts

Anne M. Vachon From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Vachon, McIlwraith, Trotter), Pathology (Norrdin), and Radiology and Radiation Biology (Powers), College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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C. Wayne McIlwraith From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Vachon, McIlwraith, Trotter), Pathology (Norrdin), and Radiology and Radiation Biology (Powers), College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Gayle W. Trotter From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Vachon, McIlwraith, Trotter), Pathology (Norrdin), and Radiology and Radiation Biology (Powers), College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Robert W. Norrdin From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Vachon, McIlwraith, Trotter), Pathology (Norrdin), and Radiology and Radiation Biology (Powers), College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Barbara E. Powers From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Vachon, McIlwraith, Trotter), Pathology (Norrdin), and Radiology and Radiation Biology (Powers), College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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SUMMARY

The use of periosteal autografts to resurface osteochondral defects was investigated in 10 horses (2 to 3 years old), and the repair tissue was characterized morphologically. Middle carpal joint arthrotomies were made, and osteochondral defects were induced bilaterally on the distal articular surface of each radial carpal bone. Each defect measured approximatively 1 cm2 and extended 3 mm into the subchondral bone plate. Residual subchondral bone plate of control and principal defects was perforated by drilling. A sterile fibrin adhesive was made by mixing a fibrinogen component and a thrombin component. A periosteal autograft was harvested from the proximal portion of the tibia and was glued onto the recipient osseous surface, with its cambium facing the joint cavity. Control defects were glued, but not grafted. Horses were walked 1 hour daily on a walker, starting at postoperative week 7 and continuing for 9 weeks. Sixteen weeks after the grafting procedure was done, carpal radiography was performed, after which horses were euthanatized. Quality of repair tissue of control and grafted defects was evaluated and compared grossly, histologically, and histochemically. Using a reticule, the proportions of various repair tissue types filling each defect were quantitated.

Seven weeks after the grafting procedure was done, bilateral arthroscopy revealed synovial adhesions and marginal pannus formation in control and grafted defects. None of the autografts was found floating unattached within the respective middle carpal joints. At 16 weeks, the gross appearance of most grafted and nongrafted defects was similar, and repair was dominated by a fibrous pannus. In 4 grafted defects, bone had formed either concentrically within the defect or eccentrically in the fibrous adhesions between the defect and the joint margin. Histologically, all grafted and nongrafted defects were repaired similarly by infiltration of a mixture of fibrous tissue, fibrocartilage, and bone. Fibrous tissue was the predominant tissue in most defects and its mean proportion was 56 and 59% in the grafted and nongrafted defects, respectively. Fibrocartilaginous tissue in the deeper layers approximated 20%, and woven bone at the base of the defect was 20% in all defects. Histochemically, difference in staining for proteoglycans was not observed between grafted and nongrafted defects. Little remaining original periosteal graft tissue was evident at the defect sites. The only distinguishing feature of grafted defects was the presence of islands of bone formation either at the defect site (n = 2 horses), or in somewhat dorsally displaced tissue that was incorporated in fibrous adhesions (n = 2 horses). It was concluded that use of periosteal autografts did not improve the healing of osteochondral defects of the distal portion of the radial carpal bone. The repair tissue produced in grafted and nongrafted defects was similar and was principally fibrous in nature.

SUMMARY

The use of periosteal autografts to resurface osteochondral defects was investigated in 10 horses (2 to 3 years old), and the repair tissue was characterized morphologically. Middle carpal joint arthrotomies were made, and osteochondral defects were induced bilaterally on the distal articular surface of each radial carpal bone. Each defect measured approximatively 1 cm2 and extended 3 mm into the subchondral bone plate. Residual subchondral bone plate of control and principal defects was perforated by drilling. A sterile fibrin adhesive was made by mixing a fibrinogen component and a thrombin component. A periosteal autograft was harvested from the proximal portion of the tibia and was glued onto the recipient osseous surface, with its cambium facing the joint cavity. Control defects were glued, but not grafted. Horses were walked 1 hour daily on a walker, starting at postoperative week 7 and continuing for 9 weeks. Sixteen weeks after the grafting procedure was done, carpal radiography was performed, after which horses were euthanatized. Quality of repair tissue of control and grafted defects was evaluated and compared grossly, histologically, and histochemically. Using a reticule, the proportions of various repair tissue types filling each defect were quantitated.

Seven weeks after the grafting procedure was done, bilateral arthroscopy revealed synovial adhesions and marginal pannus formation in control and grafted defects. None of the autografts was found floating unattached within the respective middle carpal joints. At 16 weeks, the gross appearance of most grafted and nongrafted defects was similar, and repair was dominated by a fibrous pannus. In 4 grafted defects, bone had formed either concentrically within the defect or eccentrically in the fibrous adhesions between the defect and the joint margin. Histologically, all grafted and nongrafted defects were repaired similarly by infiltration of a mixture of fibrous tissue, fibrocartilage, and bone. Fibrous tissue was the predominant tissue in most defects and its mean proportion was 56 and 59% in the grafted and nongrafted defects, respectively. Fibrocartilaginous tissue in the deeper layers approximated 20%, and woven bone at the base of the defect was 20% in all defects. Histochemically, difference in staining for proteoglycans was not observed between grafted and nongrafted defects. Little remaining original periosteal graft tissue was evident at the defect sites. The only distinguishing feature of grafted defects was the presence of islands of bone formation either at the defect site (n = 2 horses), or in somewhat dorsally displaced tissue that was incorporated in fibrous adhesions (n = 2 horses). It was concluded that use of periosteal autografts did not improve the healing of osteochondral defects of the distal portion of the radial carpal bone. The repair tissue produced in grafted and nongrafted defects was similar and was principally fibrous in nature.

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