PURPOSE: Healing rate of meniscus repair is higher when the suture is associated with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. A possible explanation can be a different pattern of release of growth factors between anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and isolated meniscus surgery. Hypothesis of this study is that the concentrations of bFGF, TGF-β and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in joint fluid, immediately after single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, can be different.
METHODS: Twenty consecutive patients underwent partial medial meniscectomy and twenty consecutive patients underwent single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with hamstring grafts were enrolled in the study. Thirty minutes after the end of the surgical procedure, a sample of joint fluid, as well of venous blood, was collected from all the patients. Concentrations of growth factors were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: The peripheral blood concentration of TGF-β, bFGF and PDGF was comparable between partial meniscectomy and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction groups. No differences between the two surgical techniques were also found in term of TGF-β and bFGF joint fluid concentration, whereas joint PDGF concentration of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction patients was significantly higher than the one found in partial meniscectomy patients.
CONCLUSIONS: A significant growth factors release was detected in the knee joint during arthroscopic surgery. PDGF concentration was significantly higher in anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed knee than in the meniscectomy group. PDGF can play an important role enhancing the healing response of meniscus suture and can be one of the biological reasons of the higher meniscal healing rate in anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed knee.
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