The gross, histologic, and biochemical effects of four commercially available antiseptic solutions on rabbit knee articular and periarticular connective tissues were investigated. Rabbit knee joints were injected with 2.0 cc of either Betadine® or 3% hexachlorophene. The opposite knees were injected with sterile saline. All animals were injected three times at 48-hour intervals and sacrificed 10 days after the last injection.
The solutions containing detergents, Betadine® scrub, and pHisohex® caused severe gross and histologic damage to articular cartilage, synovia, and muscle. The hexachlorophene solution caused moderate histologic damage, but caused articular cartilage ground substance loss. Betadine® prep solution caused only minimal gross and histologic damage, without any biochemical evidence of articular cartilage damage.
If antiseptic solutions are to be used in irrigating or packing joint injuries, the use of Betadine® prep is recommended.
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