A distal femoral osteotomy on 24 rabbits was fixed with biodegradable polyglycolic acid (PGA) thread pulled through drill holes made on both sides of the osteotomy. Follow-up times were one, three, six, 12 and 24 weeks. The distal part of each femur was removed, fixed in alcohol, embedded in methylmethacrylate, sawed to 80 μm thick for oxytetracycline (OTC)-labeling studies and microradiography, and sectioned at 5 μm for histologic studies. As judged by histologic microradiographic, and OTC-labeling studies, 19 of 24 osteotomies were healing normally; after six weeks of follow-up examination, union of 11 of 14 osteotomies was observed on radiographs. On the basis of the present study, PGA threads may be promising for the fixation of osteotomies of the metaphyseal cancellous bone in rabbits.
* Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
** Professor, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
†Licensed Technician, Laboratory of Polymer and Fibre Technology, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland.