The current method of measuring arthrofibrosis in live rabbits is critically limited. Specifically, this method involves radioactive fluoroscopy, error-prone goniometric measurements, and static joint angle outcomes that fail to approximate the compliance of tissues surrounding the joint. This study aims to validate a novel method of capturing the compliance of contracted tissues surrounding the joint without the use of fluoroscopy or animal sacrifice. Surgically induced contractures of one-hundred and eight rabbits were measured using the current standard of contracture measurement (a pulley system) as well as a newly designed dynamic load cell (DLC) device. The DLC device was highly reliable when compared to the pulley system (r=0.907, p<0.001). Finally, the DLC device produced joint stiffness hysteresis curves capable of approximating the compliance of stiff joint tissues, ultimately calculating a mean joint stiffness of 1.57±1.31N·m·rad-1 (range, 0.33-6.37N·m·rad-1). In conclusion, the DLC device represents a valid method for measuring joint contractures. Further, the DLC device notably improves current techniques by introducing the capacity to approximate the compliance of contracted tissues in living rabbits.
- Joint contracture
- Knee biomechanics
- Rabbit model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine