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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1984 Oct;(189):264-78.

Intracast muscle stimulation prevents bone and cartilage deterioration in cast-immobilized rabbits.


Tibial articular cartilage and the knee meniscus from cast-immobilized rabbits whose quadriceps were electrically stimulated for 17 days were compared with those from cast-immobilized rabbits without muscle stimulation. Cartilage from non-stimulated rabbits showed evidence of deep fibrillation and loss of Safranin O metachromasia. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed large areas of cavitation and cartilage erosion. Cartilage from cast-immobilized muscle-stimulated rabbits demonstrated no fibrillation, pitting, or surface erosion at either the light microscopic or SEM levels. Electrical muscle stimulation prevented bone loss by significantly increasing bone turnover rate. These observations suggest that electrical muscle stimulation can prevent bone and cartilage deterioration in short-term cast-immobilized limbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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