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 ± 1.31 N · m · rad −1 (range, 0.33–6.37 N · 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