PURPOSE: To measure the healed areas of osteochondral defects produced in femoral condyles of rabbits filled with biopolymer sugar cane gel and to compare these with those of the control group at 90, 120 and 180 days. METHODS: A study was made of 16 New Zealand rabbits, 6 and 7 months old, weighing between 2 and 2.5 kg. Defects of 3.2 x 4 mm were made, with trephine, in the femoral condyles of the right and left knees. As to the study group defects of the medial and lateral condyles of the right knee were used which were filled with Biopolymer Sugar Cane Gel; as to the Control Group defects of the medial and lateral condyles of the left t knees were used which were left open for natural healing. The defects were analyzed at 90, 120 and 180 days after surgery. After euthanasia, the knees were removed and fixed in Bouin's solution for later digital photographic documentation with a digital camera. The areas healed were measured in both the study and control groups using the images obtained from an Image-J® program. Statistical analysis was conducted using the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the means of the healed areas in the study and control groups at 90, 120 and 180 days after surgery. CONCLUSION: The dimension of the healed areas of the defects treated with the biopolymer sugar-cane gel in the study group was similar to those of the control group, which healed naturally.
Cartilage; Anatomy; Histology; Saccharum; Biopolymers; Rabbits