Validation of a dynamic joint contracture measuring device in a live rabbit model of arthrofibrosis

Nicolas Reina, William H. Trousdale, Christopher G. Salib, Loribeth Q. Evertz, Lawrence J. Berglund, Andre J. van Wijnen, Timothy E. Hewett, Charlotte E. Berry, Daniel J. Berry, Mark E. Morrey, Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The current method of measuring arthrofibrosis in live rabbits is critically limited. Specifically, this method involves radioactive fluoroscopy, error-prone goniometric measurements, and static joint angle outcomes that fail to approximate the compliance of tissues surrounding the joint. This study aims to validate a novel method of capturing the compliance of contracted tissues surrounding the joint without the use of fluoroscopy or animal sacrifice. Surgically induced contractures of one-hundred and eight rabbits were measured using the current standard of contracture measurement (a pulley system) as well as a newly designed dynamic load cell (DLC) device. The DLC device was highly reliable when compared to the pulley system (r = 0.907, p < 0.001). Finally, the DLC device produced joint stiffness hysteresis curves capable of approximating the compliance of stiff joint tissues, ultimately calculating a mean joint stiffness of 1.57 ± 1.31 N · m · rad −1 (range, 0.33–6.37 N · m · rad −1 ). In conclusion, the DLC device represents a valid method for measuring joint contractures. Further, the DLC device notably improves current techniques by introducing the capacity to approximate the compliance of contracted tissues in living rabbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2186-2192
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • arthrofibrosis
  • joint contracture
  • knee biomechanics
  • rabbit model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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