header advert
The Bone & Joint Journal Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from The Bone & Joint Journal

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Volume 81-B, Issue 5 September 1999

Access Required

Access Required
S. P. F. Hughes F. M. Anderson

G. Pap A. Machner W. Nebelung F. Awiszus

We assessed proprioception using threshold levels for the perception of knee movement at slow angular velocities (0.1°/s to 0.85°/s) in 20 patients with unilateral tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and 15 age-related control subjects. Failure to detect movement was also analysed.

The threshold levels of detection did not differ between the damaged and undamaged knees in the patients or between the patients and the control group. Failure to appreciate movement, however, was significantly greater in knees with ACL loss compared with the undamaged knees of patients and the control group.

Our findings show a proprioceptive deficit in the absence of the ACL. Measurements of threshold levels of detection of passive movement alone are not suitable for the evaluation of proprioceptive loss in ACL deficiency; assessment of failure to appreciate movement is essential.

I. H. Choi C. Y. Chung T.-J. Cho S. S. Park

The Ilizarov apparatus was used to carry out opening-wedge callotasis of the proximal tibia in ten patients who had suffered premature asymmetrical closure of the proximal tibial physis and subsequent genu recurvatum. In four knees, the genu recurvatum was entirely due to osseous deformity, whereas in six it was associated with capsuloligamentous abnormality. Preoperatively, the angle of recurvatum averaged 19.6° (15 to 26), the angle of tilt of the tibial plateau, 76.6° (62 to 90), and the ipsilateral limb shortening, 2.7 cm (0.5 to 8.7). The average time for correction was 49 days (23 to 85). The average duration of external fixation was 150 days (88 to 210). Three patients suffered complications including patella infera, pin-track infection and transient peroneal nerve palsy. At a mean follow-up of 4.4 years, all patients, except one, had achieved an excellent or good radiological and functional outcome.

N. M. Jomha L. A. Pinczewski A. Clingeleffer D. D. Otto

Deficiency of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a common disorder which can lead to changes in lifestyle. We followed 59 patients who had had arthroscopic reconstruction of the ACL using a central-third patellar-tendon autograft for seven years to assess the long-term effectiveness of recent advances in reconstruction of the ACL. The standard criteria for evaluation of the International Knee Documentation Committee, the Lysholm knee score and measurements using the KT 1000 arthrometer all showed satisfactory results. Deterioration in the clinical performance after seven years was associated with osteoarthritic changes and correlated with chronic ligament injuries and meniscectomy. There were three traumatic and three spontaneous ruptures.

We believe that the procedure can be successful, but remain concerned about failure of the graft and osteoarthritis. The results raise questions about the best time to operate and suggest that early surgery may reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.

N. S. El-Said

Twenty complex tibial deformities due to anterior poliomyelitis in 18 patients were corrected by a modified O’Donoghue osteotomy. This technique allowed correction of the deformity in three planes. This was achieved by widening the rectangular window distally to correct both rotation and valgus and by trimming the anterior edges of the step cuts to correct flexion deformity. An above-knee cast was applied for eight to 13 weeks and the patients followed up for a mean of 3.2 years. One of the 18 patients developed delayed union because of fracture of the medial limb of the step cut. The results showed excellent correction of the three-plane deformity and there was no recurrence.

This method of osteotomy is a safe and simple procedure which does not require internal fixation and allows correction of torsional and angular deformity.

A. E. Weale D. W. Murray R. Crawford V. Psychoyios A. Bonomo G. Howell J. O’Connor J. W. Goodfellow

We determined the outcome of 56 ‘Oxford’ unicompartmental replacements performed for anteromedial osteoarthritis of the knee between 1982 and 1987. Of these, 24 were in patients who had died without revision, one was lost to follow-up and two had been revised. Of the remaining 29 knees, 26 were examined clinically and radiologically, two were only examined clinically and one patient was contacted by telephone. The mean age of the patients was 80.3 years.

At a mean follow-up of 11.4 years (10 to 14) the measurements of the knee score, range of movement and degree of deformity were not significantly different from those made one to two years after operation, except that the range of flexion had improved. Comparison of fluoroscopically-controlled radiographs at a similar interval of time showed no change in the appearance of the lateral compartments. The retained articular cartilage continued to function for ten or more years which suggests that anteromedial osteoarthritis may be considered as a focal disorder of the knee. This justifies continued efforts to develop methods of treatment which preserve intact joint structures.

A. E. Weale D. W. Murray J. H. Newman C. E. Ackroyd

Patella infera may occur after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), high tibial osteotomy and total knee replacement (TKR). Restriction of movement of the knee and pain may result. Our aim was to compare the incidence and to assess the effects of patella infera after TKR and unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR).

We reviewed radiographs of the knees of 84 patients who had had either TKR or UKR as part of a randomised, controlled trial. The length of the patellar tendon was measured on serial radiographs taken before, at eight months and at five years after operation.

There was no significant change in the length of the patellar tendon after UKR, but a significant reduction was observed after TKR. Five years after the operation, the shortening of the tendon had increased to a mean of 3.5 mm. Of the knees with TKR reviewed at five years, 34% developed patella infera, defined as 10% or more of shortening, compared with 5% of those with UKR. Shortening was greatest in those knees which had required a lateral release; in this subgroup the mean shortening was 7.2 mm. Shortening correlated with restriction of movement and pain in the knee.

Our study has shown that patella infera develops in most patients after TKR with lateral release, and in approximately 25% of patients after TKR without this additional procedure. Patella infera rarely occurs after UKR. It is associated with restriction of movement and pain in the knee. It may be an effect of the more extensive exposure required to perform TKR and may, in part, explain the better clinical results of UKR.

Osteosarcoma of the pelvis Pages 796 - 802
Access Required
R. J. Grimer S. R. Carter R. M. Tillman D. Spooner D. C. Mangham Y. Kabukcuoglu

Over a 25-year period we have treated 36 patients with osteosarcoma of the pelvis. Of the tumours, 24 (67%) were primary osteosarcomas and 12 (33%) arose either after irradiation or in association with Paget’s disease. Six patients had a hindquarter amputation and 12 were treated by a limb-salvage procedure with intrapelvic excision.

The five-year survival rate of all the patients with pelvic osteosarcoma was 18%, while for 17 treated by chemotherapy and surgery it was 41%. The prognosis for patients presenting with metastases or with secondary osteosarcoma was appalling and none survived after 29 months. No patient over the age of 50 years when seen initially survived for a year. Youth and a good response to chemotherapy along with complete surgical excision offer the best chance of cure.

S. H. Lee H.-S. Kim Y.-B. Park T.-Y. Rhie H. K. Lee

We have carried out prosthetic reconstruction in six patients with malignant or aggressively benign bone tumours of the distal tibia or fibula. The diagnoses were osteosarcoma in four patients, parosteal osteosarcoma in one and recurrent giant-cell tumour in one. Five tumours were in the distal tibia and one in the distal fibula. The mean duration of follow-up was 5.3 years (2.0 to 7.1). Reconstruction was achieved using custom-made, hinged prostheses which replaced the distal tibia and the ankle. The mean range of ankle movement after operation was 31° and the joints were stable. The average functional score according to the system of the International Society of Limb Salvage was 24.2 and five of the patients had a good outcome. Complications occurred in two with wound infection and talar collapse. All patients were free from neoplastic disease at the latest follow-up.

Prosthetic reconstruction may be used for the treatment of malignant tumours of the distal tibia and fibula in selected patients.

T. Wada M. Usui K. Isu S. Yamawaki S. Ishii

We assessed the intermediate functional results of eight patients after wide resection of the proximal humerus for malignant bone tumour. We used a free vascularised fibular graft as a functional spacer and a sling procedure to preserve passive scapulohumeral movement. Scapulohumeral arthrodesis was not carried out. Five patients had osteosarcoma, two achondrosarcoma and one a malignant fibrous histiocytoma of the bone. The mean duration of follow-up was 70 months (median, 76) for the seven patients who were still alive at the time of the latest follow-up. One patient died from the disease 12 months after surgery. There were no local recurrences.

The functional results were described and graded quantitatively according to the rating system of the Musculoskeletal Tumour Society. Our results were satisfactory with regard to pain, emotional acceptance and manual dexterity. Function and lifting ability were unsatisfactory in two patients. One patient had delayed union between host and graft, but this united after six months without further surgery. Radiographs of the shoulder showed absorption or collapse of the head of the fibula in four of the eight patients and a fracture in another. No functional problems related to absorption or fracture of the head of the fibula were noted. There was no infection or subluxation of the head. We conclude that this is a reasonably effective technique of limb salvage after resection of the proximal humerus.

Osteoid osteoma Pages 814 - 820
Access Required
M. Campanacci† P. Ruggieri A. Gasbarrini A. Ferraro L. Campanacci

We describe 100 consecutive patients with osteoid osteoma. Of the 97 who had operations, 89 were treated by intralesional excision and eight by wide resection. The three remaining patients were not operated on because the osteoid osteoma was almost painless, or was found in the pedicle of the 12th thoracic vertebra at the site of entrance of the artery of Adamkjewicz. The diagnosis was confirmed histologically in all specimens. No local recurrences were observed at a minimum follow-up of one year. All except one patient were mobilised two to four days after surgery.

A precise preoperative diagnosis of the lesion is mandatory, based on clinical findings, standard radiographs, thin-section CT and a bone scan.

We compared our operative technique with 247 cases in which the percutaneous technique of removal or coagulation of the nidus had been performed. The latter procedure has a less constant rate of primary cure (83% v 100%). Its principal indication appears to be for osteoid osteomas in the proximal femur and the pelvis.

B. A. Alman H. K. W. Kim

Spinal fusion, ending caudally at L5 rather than at the sacrum, is recommended for selected patients with scoliosis due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We present a retrospective review of 48 patients operated on for this condition. Patients having spinal curvature with a Cobb angle of less than 40° and with less than 10° between a line tangential to the superior margins of both iliac crests and a line perpendicular to the spinous processes of L4 and L5, were fused to L5 (38 patients); patients not meeting these criteria were fused to the sacrum (10 patients).

Spinal and sitting obliquity increased in patients fused to L5, rather than to the sacrum, but the severity of the worsening obliquity was significantly greater in patients in whom the apex of the curve was below L1. Two of the ten latter patients required revision procedures for worsening obliquity when their pulmonary function deteriorated to less than 25% of predicted values.

We recommend fusion to the sacrum for scoliosis in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, especially for patients with an apex to their curve below L1.

F. P. Girardi F. P. Cammisa H. S. Sandhu L. Alvarez

Computer-assisted frameless stereotactic image guidance allows precise preoperative planning and intraoperative localisation of the image. It has been developed and tested in the laboratory.

We evaluated the efficacy, clinical results and complications of placement of a pedicle screw in the lumbar spine using this technique. A total of 62 patients (28 men, 34 women) had lumbar decompression and spinal fusion with segmental pedicle screws. Postoperative CT scans were taken of 35 patients to investigate the placement of 330 screws. None showed penetration of the medial or inferior wall of a pedicle. Registration was carried out 66 times. The number of fiducial points used on each registration averaged 5.8 (4 to 7) The mean registration error was 0.75 mm (0.32 to 1.72).

This technique provides a safe and reliable guide for placement of transpedicular screws in the lumbar spine.

F. M. Khaw S. A. Worthy M. J. Gibson A. Gholkar

We studied MR images of the spine in a consecutive series of 100 patients with acute compression of the spinal cord due to metastases. All patients had documented neurological deficit and histologically proven carcinoma. MRI was used to localise bony metastatic involvement and soft-tissue impingement of the cord. A systematic method of documenting metastatic involvement is described.

A total of 43 patients had compression at multiple levels; 160 vertebral levels were studied. In 120 vertebrae (75%), anterior, lateral and posterior bony elements were involved. Soft-tissue impingement of the spinal cord often involved more than one quadrant of its circumference. In 69 vertebrae (43%) there was concomitant anterior and posterior compression. Isolated involvement of a vertebral body was observed in only six vertebrae (3.8%).

We have shown that in most cases of acute compression of the spinal cord due to metastases there is coexisting involvement of both anterior and posterior structures.

J. Allain S. Le Mouel D. Goutallier M. C. Voisin

Between January 1988 and January 1991 we performed 100 consecutive cemented total hip replacements using a zirconia head, a titanium alloy stem and a polyethylene cup. We reviewed 78 of these hips in 61 patients in detail at a mean of 5.8 years (1 to 9).

Aseptic loosening was seen in 11 hips (14%). Eight needed revision. In total, 37 cups (47.5%) showed radiolucent lines, all at the cement-bone interface, with 18 (23%) involving all the interface. Of the 78 femoral implants, 17 (21.7%) showed radiolucent lines, and two, which had a complete line of more than 1 mm thick, definite endocortical osteolyses. There was also an abnormally high incidence of osteolysis of more than 2 mm at the calcar.

Survivorship analysis showed that only 63% were in situ at eight years. These worrying results led us to abandon the use of zirconia heads, since at the same hospital, using the same femoral stem, cement and polyethylene cup, but with alumina femoral heads, the survival rate was 93% at nine years. We discuss the possible reasons for the poor performance of zirconia ceramic.

S. Eggli S. Hankemayer M. E. Müller

We reviewed 508 consecutive total hip replacements in 370 patients with old developmental dysplasia of the hip, to relate the amount of leg lengthening to the incidence of nerve palsies after operation. There were eight nerve palsies (two femoral, six sciatic), two complete and six incomplete.

We found no statistical correlation between the amount of lengthening and the incidence of nerve damage (p = 0.47), but in seven of the eight hips, the surgeon had rated the intervention as difficult because of previous surgery, severe deformity, a defect of the acetabular roof, or considerable flexion deformity. The correlation between difficulty and nerve palsy was significant (p = 0.041). We conclude that nerve injury is most commonly caused by direct or indirect mechanical trauma and not by limb lengthening on its own.

K. J. Holen A. Tegnander S. H. Eik-Nes T. Terjesen

We have evaluated the effect of the use of ultrasound in determining the initiation of treatment in neonatal instability of the hip. A total of 99 newborn infants (1.5% of all live births) with neonatal hip instability did not have treatment from birth, but were re-examined at eight to 15 days. In the 31 who had persisting clinical instability and ultrasound abnormality, treatment was then started with a Frejka pillow. The hips in the remaining 68 infants showed spontaneous clinical stabilisation and improvement of the ultrasound findings. Treatment was therefore withheld. There was a marked trend towards normal development in mildly unstable hips, whereas no hips with severe instability did so spontaneously.

Further follow-up showed normal development in all the hips which had been treated, and in all except five of the 68 untreated infants. These five infants showed persistent hip dysplasia on both ultrasound and radiological examination at four to five months of age. Treatment with an abduction splint was then started and their hips developed normally.

Ultrasound is very useful in deciding on treatment if the examiners have adequate experience with the method. Its use substantially reduces the rate of treatment. Spontaneous resolution occurred in more than half of the unstable hips. Since five of the untreated infants developed hip dysplasia a strict follow-up is essential to identify and treat these cases.

J. Clegg C. E. Bache V. V. Raut

We have analysed the patterns of management of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in Coventry over a period of 20 years during which three different screening policies were used.

From 1976 to the end of 1985 we relied on clinical examination alone. The mean surgical cost for the treatment of DDH during this period was £5110 per 1000 live births. This was reduced to £3811 after the introduction of ultrasound for infants with known risk factors. Since June 1989 we have routinely scanned all infants at birth with a mean surgical cost of £468 per 1000 live births. This reduction in cost is a result of the earlier detection of DDH with fewer children requiring surgery. In those who do, fewer and less invasive procedures are needed. The overall rate of treatment has not increased and regular review of patients managed in a Pavlik harness has allowed us to avoid the complication of avascular necrosis.

When we add the cost of running the screening programme to the expense of treating the condition, the overall cost for the management of DDH is comparable for the different screening policies.

Y.-T. Huang W. Lei L. Zhao J. Wang

We operated on 111 patients with 159 congenital club feet with the aim of correcting the deformity and achieving dynamic muscle balance. Clinical and biomechanical assessment was undertaken at least six years after operation when the patient was more than 13 years of age. The mean follow-up was for 11 years 10 months (6 to 36 years).

Good and excellent results were obtained in 91.8%. Patients with normal function of the calf had a better outcome than those with weak calf muscles. The radiological changes were assessed in relation to the clinical outcome. The distribution of pressure under the foot was measured for biomechanical assessment.

Our results support the view that muscle imbalance is an aetiological factor in club foot. Early surgery seems to be preferable. It is suggested that operation should be undertaken as soon as possible after the age of six months, although it may be carried out up to the age of five years. The establishment of dynamic muscle balance appears to be an effective method of maintaining correction. Satisfactory long-term results can be achieved with adequate appearance and function.

M. Loew W. Daecke D. Kusnierczak M. Rahmanzadeh V. Ewerbeck

We report a prospective study of the effects of extracorporeal shock-wave therapy in 195 patients with chronic calcifying tendinitis. In part A 80 patients with chronic symptoms were randomly assigned to a control and three subgroups which had different treatment by low-energy and high-energy shock waves. In part B 115 patients had either one or two high-energy sessions. We recorded subjective, functional and radiological findings at six months after treatment.

The results showed energy-dependent success, with relief of pain ranging from 5% in our control group up to 58% after two high-energy sessions. The Constant scores and the radiological disintegration of calcification were also dose-dependent.

Shockwave therapy should be considered for chronic pain due to calcific tendinitis which is resistant to conservative treatment.

J. Chell A. Stevens T. R. C. Davis

We studied 58 women of employable age with the carpal tunnel syndrome in order to determine whether the histological appearances of the carpal tunnel, tenosynovium and flexor retinaculum are influenced by work practices. Age, body mass index and the duration of symptoms did not correlate with the extent of oedema or fibrosis within the tenosynovium. The incidence of abnormality on histological examination of the tenosynovium was the same in employed and unemployed patients (p = 1.0), and was not influenced by the level of repetition (p = 0.89) or force (p = 0.29) of work. Myxoid degeneration within the flexor retinaculum was, however, more common in women undertaking ‘high-force’ work. Apart from this finding, the results suggest that work practices do not affect tenosynovial thickening, fibrosis or oedema in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

H. Moritomo K. Tada T. Yoshida T. Masatomi

We studied retrospectively the radiographs of 33 patients with late symptoms after scaphoid nonunion in an attempt to relate the incidence of scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC) to the level of the original fracture. We found differing patterns for nonunion at the proximal, middle and distal thirds. The mean intervals between fracture and complaint were 20.9, 6.7 and 12.6 years and obvious degenerative changes occurred in 85.7%, 40.0% and 33.3%, for the six proximal-, eight middle- and two distal-third nonunions, respectively.

Nonunion at the proximal and middle thirds showed the first degenerative changes at the radioscaphoid joint, and this was followed by narrowing of the scaphocapitate and then the lunocapitate joints. In our two nonunions of the distal third degenerative changes were seen only at the lunocapitate joint. Most patients with SNAC and nonunion of the middle or distal third showed dorsal intercalated instability; few patients with nonunion of the proximal third developed this deformity.

We discuss the initial management of nonunion of the scaphoid at different levels in the light of our findings, and make recommendations.

Foot & Ankle
Access Required
J. M. Webb G. C. Bannister

Percutaneous repair of the ruptured tendo Achillis has a low rate of failure and negligible complications with the wound, but the sural nerve may be damaged. We describe a new technique which minimises the risk of injury to this nerve.

The repair is carried out using three midline stab incisions over the posterior aspect of the tendon. A No. 1 nylon suture on a 90 mm cutting needle approximates the tendon with two box stitches. The procedure can be carried out under local anaesthesia.

We reviewed 27 patients who had a percutaneous repair at a median interval of 35 months after the injury. They returned to work at four weeks and to sport at 16. One developed a minor wound infection and another complex regional pain syndrome type II. There were no injuries to the sural nerve or late reruptures. This technique is simple to undertake and has a low rate of complications.

M. S. Dhillon O. N. Nagi

Isolated dislocations of the navicular are rare injuries; we present our experience of six cases in which the navicular was dislocated without fracture. All patients had complex injuries, with considerable disruption of the midfoot. Five patients had open reduction and stabilisation with Kirschner wires. One developed subluxation and deformity of the midfoot because of inadequate stabilisation of the lateral column, and there was one patient with ischaemic necrosis. We believe that the navicular cannot dislocate in isolation because of the rigid bony supports around it; there has to be significant disruption of both longitudinal columns of the foot. Most commonly, an abduction/pronation injury causes a midtarsal dislocation, and on spontaneous reduction the navicular may dislocate medially. This mechanism is similar to a perilunate dislocation. Stabilisation of both medial and lateral columns of the foot may sometimes be essential for isolated dislocations. In spite of our low incidence of ischaemic necrosis, there is always a likelihood of this complication.

General Orthopaedics
Access Required
N. Davis A. Curry A. K. Gambhir H. Panigrahi C. R. C. Walker E. G. L. Wilkins M. A. Worsley P. R. Kay

All surgical operations have the potential for contamination, and the equipment used can harbour bacteria. We collected samples from 100 elective primary hip and knee arthroplasties. These showed rates of contamination of 11.4% for the sucker tips, 14.5% for light handles, 9.4% for skin blades and 3.2% for the inside blades used during surgery; 28.7% of gloves used for preparation were also contaminated. Of the samples taken from the collection bags used during hip arthroplasty, 20% grew bacteria, which represents a significant microbial reservoir. Also, 17% of theatre gowns were contaminated at the end of the operation. Contamination was found in 10% of the needles used during closure of the fascia. Overall, 76% of the organisms grown were coagulase-negative staphylococcus. A total of 63% of operations showed contamination in the field of operation. Some changes in practice are suggested. Follow-up for a minimum of two years revealed one deep infection but the organism was not identified as a contaminant. These data provide a baseline for studying the bacteriology of the surgery of revision arthroplasty.

M. Rickman M. Saleh P. A. Gaines K. Eyres

Osteotomies are commonly carried out in orthopaedic surgery, particularly in limb reconstruction. Complications are uncommon provided that sufficient care is taken and a sound technique used. We describe three cases of formation of false aneurysm after osteotomy, with acute, delayed and asymptomatic onset. The diagnosis was supported by ultrasound investigation, and confirmed by angiography. Embolisation with coils was a successful method of treatment. We recommend a safe method of osteotomy with good bone exposure and adequate soft-tissue protection.

Pyoderma gangrenosum Pages 893 - 894
Access Required
P. M. Armstrong I. Ilyas R. Pandey A. R. Berendt C. P. Conlon A. H. R. W. Simpson

We describe a case of pyoderma gangrenosum which presented with severe wound breakdown after elective hip replacement. The patient was treated successfully with minimal wound debridement and steroids. This diagnosis should always be considered when confronted with an enlarging painful skin lesion which does not grow organisms when cultured and fails to respond to antibiotic therapy, especially if there are similar lesions in other sites. In patients who have a past history of pyoderma gangrenosum, prophylactic steroids may be indicated at the time of surgery or may be required early in the postoperative period.

Access Required
N. Zarzhevsky R. Coleman G. Volpin D. Fuchs H. Stein A. Z. Reznick

We immobilised the right hindlimbs of six-month-old female Wistar rats for four weeks using a biplanar external fixation bridging the knee. The untreated left limbs served as a control group. An additional group of rats was allowed to recover for four weeks after removal of the frame.

Immobilisation caused reduction in the wet weights of approximately 50% in the gastrocnemius, quadriceps, soleus and plantaris muscles; this was not restored completely after remobilisation. There was an increase in the activity of acid phosphatase of approximately 85% in the gastrocnemius and quadriceps muscles whereas that of creatine phosphokinase was reduced by about 40%. These values returned to nearly normal after remobilisation. Histological and ultrastructural examination showed a marked myopathy of the gastrocnemius muscle after immobilisation although the morphology was largely restored after remobilisation.

We conclude that after four weeks of remobilisation, hind-limb muscles do not return to preimmobilisation weights, although biochemical activities and ultrastructural appearance are largely restored.

M. Ochi J. Iwasa Y. Uchio N. Adachi Y. Sumen

We examined whether somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were detectable after direct electrical stimulation of injured, reconstructed and normal anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) during arthroscopy under general anaesthesia. We investigated the position sense of the knee before and after reconstruction and the correlation between the SEP and instability.

We found detectable SEPs in all ligaments which had been reconstructed with autogenous semitendinosus and gracilis tendons over the past 18 months as well as in all cases of the normal group. The SEP was detectable in only 15 out of 32 cases in the injured group, although the voltages in the injured group were significantly lower than those of the controls. This was not the case in the reconstructed group. The postoperative position sense in 17 knees improved significantly, but there was no correlation between it and the voltage. The voltage of stable knees was significantly higher than that of the unstable joints. Our findings showed that sensory reinnervation occurred in the reconstructed human ACL and was closely related to the function of the knee.

J. D. Bobyn G. J. Stackpool S. A. Hacking M. Tanzer J. J. Krygier

We have studied the characteristics of bone ingrowth of a new porous tantalum biomaterial in a simple transcortical canine model using cylindrical implants 5 × 10 mm in size. The material was 75% to 80% porous by volume and had a repeating arrangement of slender interconnecting struts which formed a regular array of dodecahedron-shaped pores. We performed histological studies on two types of material, one with a smaller pore size averaging 430 μm at 4, 16 and 52 weeks and the other with a larger pore size averaging 650 μm at 2, 3, 4, 16 and 52 weeks. Mechanical push-out tests at 4 and 16 weeks were used to assess the shear strength of the bone-implant interface on implants of the smaller pore size.

The extent of filling of the pores of the tantalum material with new bone increased from 13% at two weeks to between 42% and 53% at four weeks. By 16 and 52 weeks the average extent of bone ingrowth ranged from 63% to 80%. The tissue response to the small and large pore sizes was similar, with regions of contact between bone and implant increasing with time and with evidence of Haversian remodelling within the pores at later periods. Mechanical tests at four weeks indicated a minimum shear fixation strength of 18.5 MPa, substantially higher than has been obtained with other porous materials with less volumetric porosity.

This porous tantalum biomaterial has desirable characteristics for bone ingrowth; further studies are warranted to ascertain its potential for clinical reconstructive orthopaedics.

A. Sckell M. Leunig C. R. Fraitzl R. Ganz F. T. Ballmer

Free patellar tendon grafts used for the intra-articular replacement of ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) lack perfusion at the time of implantation. The central core of the graft undergoes a process of ischaemic necrosis which may result in failure. Early reperfusion of the graft may diminish the extent of this process.

We assessed the role of peritendinous connective tissue in the revascularisation of the patellar tendon graft from the day of implantation up to 24 days in a murine model using intravital microscopy. The peritendinous connective-tissue envelope of the graft was either completely removed, partially removed or not stripped before implantation into dorsal skinfold chambers of recipient mice.

Initial revascularisation of the grafts with preserved peritendinous connective tissues began after two days. The process was delayed by five to six times in completely stripped patellar tendons (p < 0.05). Only grafts with preserved connective tissues showed high viability whereas those which were completely stripped appeared to be subvital.

The presence of peritendinous connective tissues accelerates the revascularisation of free patellar tendon grafts.

Access Required
T. Aizawa S. Kokubun T. Kawamata Y. Tanaka H. I. Roach

Growth plates taken from five- to 20-week-old Japanese white rabbits were immunostained for c-Myc protein. This was localised both in the proliferating zone and upper hypertrophic zone at five weeks, whereas after ten weeks it was found mostly in the lower hypertrophic zone. The proliferating chondrocytes tended to show nuclear staining and the hypertrophic cells cytoplasmic staining, although the terminal hypertrophic chondrocytes sometimes expressed the protein in their nuclei. In the younger rabbits, c-Myc co-localised with proliferating cell nuclear antigen, whereas in the hypertrophic zone of older rabbits, it was present in some chondrocytes the nuclei of which also contained DNA breaks.

Our study suggests that, in the rabbit growth plate, c-Myc is associated with different cellular processes, depending on the age and the developmental stage of the chondrocytes.

Access Required
B. Greenbaum J. Itamura C. T. Vangsness J. Tibone R. Atkinson

We studied the origin of extensor carpi radialis brevis using 40 fresh frozen human cadaver specimens. Ten were stained with haematoxylin and eosin and trichrome which showed the collagenous structure of the extensor tendons at their origin. Gross anatomical observation showed that there was no definitive separation between brevis and communis at the osseotendinous junction. The histological findings confirmed the lack of separation between the two tendons. The extensor tendons were in close proximity to the joint capsule but trichrome staining showed no interdigitation of the tendon with the capsule. The validity of ascribing the pain of lateral epicondylitis to extensor carpi radialis brevis must be questioned. It appears to arise more from the ‘common extensor’ origin.

GUMEE DU TOIT 1909 – 1999 Pages 930 - 931
Access Required

Authors’ reply Pages 932 - 932
Access Required

Access Required

Access Required

Authors’ reply Pages 933 - 933
Access Required

Access Required

Authors’ reply Pages 934 - 934
Access Required

Author’s reply Pages 934 - 934
Access Required

Access Required

Authors’ reply Pages 935 - 935
Access Required

Access Required

Author’s reply Pages 935 - 935
Access Required

Access Required

Access Required

Adolescent rheumatology. Pages 936 - 936
Access Required

Access Required

Acute knee injuries. Pages 937 - 937
Access Required

Correction Pages 938 - 938
Access Required