The effect of distance between holes on the structural stability of subchondral bone in microfracture surgery: a finite element model study – DocWire…

Posted: August 24, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Background:Microfracture is a surgical technique that involves creating multiple holes of 3-4 mm depth in the subchondral bone to recruit stem cells in the bone marrow to the lesion, inducing fibrocartilage repair and knee cartilage regeneration. Recently, it has been reported that increasing the exposed area of the lower cartilaginous bone (drilling a lot of holes) increases the outflow of stem cells, which is expected to affect the physical properties of the subchondral bone when the exposed area is large. The purpose of this study was to analyse the effect of the distance between the holes in the microfracture procedure on the structural stability of the osteochondral bone using a finite element method.

Methods:In this study, lateral aspects of the femoral knee, which were removed during total knee arthroplasty were photographed using microtomography. The model was implemented using a solitary walks program, which is a three-dimensional simplified geometric representation based on the basic microtomography data. A microfracture model was created by drilling 4 mm-deep holes at 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, and 5 mm intervals in a simplified three-dimensional (3D) geometric femoral model. The structural stability of these models was analysed with the ABAQUS program. We compared the finite element model (FEM) based on the microtomography image and the simplified geometric finite element model.

Results:Von Mises stress of the subchondral bone plate barely increased, even when the distance between holes was set to 1 mm. Altering the distance between the holes had little impact on the structural stability of the subchondral bone plate. Safety factors were all below 1.

Conclusions:Although we did not confirm an optimal distance between holes, this study does provide reference data and an epidemiological basis for determining the optimal distance between the holes used in the microfracture procedure.

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The effect of distance between holes on the structural stability of subchondral bone in microfracture surgery: a finite element model study - DocWire...

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