The dense formation of abnormal scar tissue after total knee arthroplasty results in arthrofibrosis, an unfortunate sequela of inflammation. The purpose of this study was to use a validated rabbit model to assess the effects on surgically-induced knee joint contractures of two combined pharmacological interventions: celecoxib (CXB) loaded on an implanted collagen membrane, and subcutaneously (SQ) injected ketotifen. Thirty rabbits were randomly divided into five groups. The first group received no intervention after the index surgery. The remaining four groups underwent intra-articular implantation of collagen membranes loaded with or without CXB at the time of the index surgery; two of which were also treated with SQ ketotifen. Biomechanical joint contracture data were collected at 8, 10, 16, and 24 weeks. At the time of necropsy (24 weeks), posterior capsule tissue was collected for messenger RNA and histopathologic analyses. At 24 weeks, there was a statistically significant increase in passive extension among rabbits in all groups treated with CXB and/or ketotifen compared to those in the contracture control group. There was a statistically significant decrease in COL3A1, COL6A1, and ACTA2 gene expression in the treatment groups compared to the contracture control group (P <.001). Histopathologic data also demonstrated a trend towards decreased fibrous tissue density in the CXB membrane group compared to the vehicle membrane group. The present data suggest that intra-articular placement of a treated collagen membrane blunts the severity of contracture development in a rabbit model of arthrofibrosis, and that ketotifen and CXB may independently contribute to the prevention of arthrofibrosis. Statement of clinical significance: Current literature has demonstrated that arthrofibrosis may affect up to 5% of primary total knee arthroplasty patients. For that reason, novel pharmacologic prophylaxis and treatment modalities are critical to mitigating reoperations and revisions while improving the quality of life for patients with this debilitating condition.
- acquired idiopathic stiffness
- total knee arthroplasty
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine