Elastic cartilage grafting in canine radial fracture

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran

3 Graduated from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Urmia, Urmia, Iran


Bone has a capability to repair itself when it is fractured. Repair involves the generation of intermediate
tissues, such as fibrous connective tissue, cartilage and woven bone, before final bone healing can occur. The
process of cartilage-to-bone transition (CBT) is a key for the achievement of rigid bone healing during
fracture repair. We tested this potential for elastic cartilage using a long bone defect model in dog. Eight
sexually intact female mongrel dogs, 4.57 ± 0.53 years old and weighing 11.48 ± 0.63 kg, were studied. After
an ostectomy of the midshaft radius, bone healing was evaluated over an 8-week period in control dogs (n =
4) and dogs in which autologous grafts of auricular cartilage were inserted into the bone defects (n = 4).
Quantitative radiographic assessment was conducted every 2 weeks. Eight weeks post-operative, qualitative
histopathologic analysis was performed on the operated radii. Furthermore, histological grading was done
using the Ulutas et al., scoring system. Experiment dogs had more advanced radiographic healing of
ostectomy sites. The defects with elastic cartilage implants were bridged completely with new bony spicules
originated from the implants. Transformation of elastic cartilage clusters to mesenchymal connective tissue
and bony spicules was obvious in the experiment group. Significant differences were observed for cellular
morphology [3 ± 0.82 (experiment) vs. 1.75 ± 0.5 (control)] and cartilage integration [2 (experiment) vs. 1
(control)] at ostectomy sites between the studied groups. This study demonstrated that by using the
ostectomy gap model, autologous auricular cartilage enhanced the radiographic and histopathologic aspects
of bone healing in dogs.