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Acta Orthop Scand. 2002 Jun;73(3):352-8.

Treatment of growth plate injury with autogenous chondrocytes: a study in rabbits.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shimane Medical University, Japan.


We designed this study to investigate transplantation of autogenous chondrocytes cultured in atelocollagen gel to treat the injured growth plate. An experimental model of growth arrest was made by resecting the medial two thirds of the left proximal tibial physis in 8-10-week-old Japanese white rabbits. Autogenous chondrocytes, which had been harvested from cartilage of the knee joints, embedded in atelocollagen gel, and cultured for a week, were transplanted into the defect in the growth plate. In two other experimental groups, we transplanted autogenous fat tissue into the same defects, or left them empty. Histological and radiographic examinations were done before and after transplantation at various times up to 52 weeks postoperatively. The histological study showed that grafted chondrocytes synthesized extracellular matrix and prevented early ossification and closure of the growth plate, which occurred in the Fat and Defect groups. Angular deformity and length discrepancy in the transplanted group were less than in the control group. Our findings suggest that transplantation of autogenous chondrocytes, cultured in atelocollagen gel, may improve treatment of the injured growth plate.

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