Healing of the patellar tendon after removing the middle third. Experimental study in rabbits

J. C. Monllau García, P. Hinarejos Gómez, X. Pelfort López, N. Baixeras González, F. J. Gil Mur, J. Ballester Soleda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To study the biomechanical and histologic evolution at 3 and 12 months in the process of healing surgical defects in the patellar tendon of rabbits. Experimental design. Sixteen white New Zealand rabbits weighing 4,000 to 4,500 g were used. The central third of the right patellar tendon was removed surgically and the left tendon was kept intact as a control. Eight randomly selected animals were killed at 3 months and 8 animals were killed at 12 months. After death, the patella, patellofemoral tendon and anterior tibial tuberosity were removed as a unit and mounted on an Instron® machine for resistance assays until the specimen ruptured. Two animals chosen randomly from each group were used for histologic study. Results. At three months the maximum resistance of the operated tendons was 71% of control values (p < 0.008). No significant differences were observed in the rigidity and Young module. At 12 months, the maximum resistance of the operated tendons was 85.5% of control values (p < 0.001), the rigidity was 76% (p < 0.015), and the Young module was 92.8% (p < 0.043). The histologic study showed maturation and progressive organization of the neotendon, but it was still disorganized at one year of follow-up. Conclusions. The results suggest that the removal of one-third of the patellar tendon in rabbits causes structural and biomechanical disorganization that persists one year after surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
JournalRevista de Ortopedia y Traumatologia
Volume47
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003

Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Experimental research
  • Knee
  • Patellar tendon

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