Histologic Analysis of 2 Alternative Donor Sites of the Ipsilateral Elbow in the Treatment of Capitellar Osteochondritis Dissecans

Rens Bexkens*, Nick F.J. Hilgersom, Rieneke Britstra, C. Dilara Savci-Heijink, Michel P.J. van den Bekerom, Hans H. de Boer, Denise Eygendaal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To compare the histologic features of the cartilage from the capitellum with 2 proposed alternative donor sites from the ipsilateral elbow in the treatment of capitellar osteochondritis dissecans (OCD): the nonarticulating part of the radial head and the nonarticulating lateral side of the olecranon tip. Methods: Ten human cadaveric elbow specimens with macroscopically normal articular surfaces were used to obtain 5-mm osteochondral grafts: 10 from the capitellum (60° anteriorly relative to the humeral shaft), 10 from the radial head (nonarticulating part at 80°), and 4 from the olecranon (lateral side of the olecranon tip). Grafts were fixated in formalin (4% formaldehyde), decalcified, and processed into standard 8-μm-thick hematoxylin and eosin–and Toluidine Blue–stained sections. These were assessed for cartilage thickness, shape of articular surface, and 13 histologic parameters of the International Cartilage Repair Society II. Olecranon scores were excluded from statistical analysis. Results: Mean cartilage thickness was 1.5 ± 0.22 mm at the capitellum; 1.3 ± 0.34 mm at the radial head; and 1.9 ± 1.0 mm at the olecranon. There was no difference in cartilage thickness between the capitellum and radial head (P =. 062). All grafts demonstrated a convex articular surface. International Cartilage Repair Society II scores ranged from 82 to 100 for the capitellum, from 81 to 100 for the radial head, and from 67 to 87 for the olecranon tip. There was less chondrocyte clustering at the capitellum (84 ± 14) than in the radial head (94 ± 3.2; P =. 019). Mid/deep zone assessment of the capitellum scored higher (97 ± 6.7) than the radial head (91 ± 4.6; P =. 038). Conclusions: This study demonstrates appropriate histologic similarities between the cartilage from the capitellum and 2 alternative donor sites of the ipsilateral elbow in the treatment of capitellar OCD: the nonarticulating part of the radial head and the nonarticulating lateral side of the olecranon tip. Clinical Relevance: From an histologic point of view, there seem to be no obstacles to use grafts from these alternative donor sites for reconstruction of the capitellum when performing osteochondral autologous transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3025-3032
Number of pages8
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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