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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309

Abstract

BIDDULPH, SL et al. A possible role of synovial fluid in bone healing. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2014, vol.13, n.1, pp. 50-53. ISSN 2309-8309.

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to study the rate of intra-articular fracture healing in baboons. It is postulated that this could correlate with fracture healing in the human model of the scaphoid, as this fracture healing takes place in an intra-articular environment. METHODS: Five baboons were used. Segments of iliac crest were divided along the cancellous zone and fixed together by means of cerclage wire with the cancellous surfaces facing each other. The conjoined blocks of bone were sutured into the joint capsule of the suprapatellar pouch of the animal from which they were obtained. Control specimens were fixed submuscularly to the outer cortex of the iliac crest. Specimens were harvested at two, three and four weeks. After decalcification, samples were examined histologically. RESULTS: All specimens were found to be viable. A firm union was noted at two weeks, a greater union at three weeks, and a substantial union at four weeks. Some of the specimens had a covering of synovial membrane, due to the fact that the specimen was sutured into the joint lining. It appeared to have no effect on bone survival or the rate of union. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that synovial fluid may nourish bone and promote union. This is in contradiction to the theory that synovial fluid may hamper bone healing, specifically in the scaphoid model in humans.

Keywords : synovial fluid; bone healing; intra-articular fractures.

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