Effect of femoral nerve resection on progression of cartilage degeneration induced by anterior cruciate ligament transection in rabbits
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of femoral nerve resection on the progression of cartilage degeneration in an anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) and partial meniscectomy (PM) model in rabbits. To induce degeneration of articular cartilage, PM and ACLT were performed on the bilateral knees of 24 rabbits, and femoral sensory nerve selective resection (FNR) was additionally performed on the left knee. Six rabbits each were killed 6 and 10 weeks after surgery to observe early cartilage degeneration and 17 and 24 weeks after surgery to evaluate the late phase. Mankin's histological score at 10 weeks (7.5 ± 2.7 points; mean ± SD) after surgery in the FNR group was higher than that at 6 weeks (3.0 ± 0.6 points) (P < 0.05). In the control group the score at 17 weeks (7.8 ± 2.0 points) was higher than that at 6 weeks (2.7 ± 0.5 points) (P < 0.05). The concentration of chondroitin sulfate in the joint fluid was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The concentration of chondroitin 6-sulfate in the FNR group at 10 weeks (11.6 ± 4.1 nmol/ml) was higher than that at the other times and that of the control group at 10 weeks (5.4 ± 3.2 nmol/ml) after surgery (P < 0.05). These results indicate that FNR may promote the progression of cartilage degeneration in knees with PM and ACLT.