We compared the effects of continuous passive motion with those of intermittent active motion on the results of the resurfacing with autogenous periosteal grafts of full-thickness defects on the articular surface of rabbit patellae. Of 45 rabbits with defects, 30 received grafts. Fifteen of these had continuous passive motion for two weeks and intermittent active motion for four weeks; the other 15 had intermittent active motion for six weeks. In 15 the defects were not grafted (control group) and they had intermittent active motion for six weeks. Ten more rabbits had a sham operation. Six weeks after surgery, the results were assessed by the gross appearance, histology, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. By all assessments the quality of neochondrogenesis produced by periosteal grafts was superior to that in ungrafted defects (p less than 0.05) and the results in continuous passive motion treated animals were superior to those in intermittent active motion treated animals (p less than 0.05). The periosteal grafts produced hyaline cartilage containing type II collagen but the organisation of its fibres was irregular.
- © 1992 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery