SECTION I: SYMPOSIUM: THE LASER IN ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY: PDF OnlyThe Excimer Laser in OrthopaedicsGlossop, Neil D. PhD*; Jackson, Robert W. MD*; Koort, Hans J. Dipl Phys**; Reed, Stephen C. MD†; Randle, John A. MD†Editor(s): Garrick, James G. MD Author Information *Department of Orthopaedics, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX. **MedLas Medical Techniques and Laser Systems, Bonn, Germany. †Orthopaedic and Arthritic Hospital, Toronto, Canada. Reprint requests to Robert W. Jackson, MD, Department of Orthopaedics, Baylor University Medical Center, 3500 Gaston Ave, Dallas, TX 75246. Supported in part by a grant from the Orthopaedic and Arthritic Hospital Research Foundation, and by JENSA Research, both of Toronto, Canada. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: January 1995 - Volume - Issue 310 - p 72-81 Free Abstract This review details clinical and laboratory experience with the 308 nm XeCl excimer laser. This ultraviolet laser is not approved yet for use in arthroscopy, but has been shown to be extremely proficient for debridement of degenerate articular cartilage and meniscus. It has fewer advantages than conventional techniques for synovectomy, meniscectomy, and lateral release. Preliminary in vitro and in vivo studies were performed to investigate the character of laser-irradiated articular cartilage and to search for evidence of regeneration. A model of arthritis was created in rabbits to test the effects of the laser. Partial-thickness cuts in articular cartilage also were irradiated to test for cartilage regeneration. In vitro results indicated that the cartilage was sealed, with only a negligible loss in thickness. The results of live rabbit studies initially showed a similar sealing under scanning electron and light microscopy; however, it tended to break down in time. The results of autora-diographic and histologic studies showed no evidence of cartilage regeneration. Recent evidence suggests that the laser may adversely affect chondrocyte vitality in a region beyond the region of visible damage. There is no evidence to suggest that the laser is mutagenic. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.