1. Section of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
2. Center for Shockwave Medicine and Tissue Engineering, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
3. Medical Research, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Our study compared the effects of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) on the subchondral bone and the articular cartilage in the treatment of early osteoarthritis (OA) of rat knee. The rats were divided into 5 groups which included Sham group, Meniscus group (ESWT applied on medial meniscus), OA group (arthrotomy and medial menisectomy (MMx) and anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT), T(M) group (arthrotomy and MMx and ACLT followed by ESWT on medial tibial subchondral bone) and Articular cartilage group (arthrotomy and MMx and ACLT followed by ESWT on medial articular cartilage). Evaluations included the pathological changes of the synovium, articular cartilage and subchondral bone, and compared with ESWT on the meniscus, medial tibial subchondral bone and articular cartilage. The ESWT (0.25 mJ/mm² and 800 impulses) did not cause any damages on the cartilage of the meniscus and the tissue of the joint when compared with Sham group. Among the treatment of osteoarthritic groups (OA, T(M) and Articular cartilage groups), T(M) group showed significant in pathological examination, micro-CT analysis, cartilage grading score and grading of synovium changes by compared with OA and Articular cartilage groups (P < 0.05) in the treatment of early OA knee. In immunohistochemical analysis, T(M) group significantly increased the expression of TGF-β1 but reduced DMP-1, MMP-13 and ADAMTS-5 in the cartilage by compared with OA group and Articular cartilage group (P < 0.05). Our results showed that subchondral bone was an excellent target than articular cartilage for ESWT on early knee osteoarthritis.
Keywords: extracorporeal shock wave therapy, osteoarthritis, articular cartilage, knee, tissue regeneration