The purpose of this experimental study was to investigate the effect of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) therapy combined with microfracture technique in the treatment of cartilage lesions. Adult Wistar rats (n=44) were divided into six groups. In Groups A, B, C and D, ICRS* (* International Cartilage Repair Society) grade 4 cartilage lesions were made on the femoral sulcus of both knees. Lesions were microfractured on the left knees; the right knees had no further procedure. Groups E and F had no surgery. Groups A, C and E received HBO2 therapy once a day, six days a week postoperatively. Groups B, D and F had no HBO2 therapy. The animals in Groups A, B, E and F were sacrificed after two weeks; Groups C and D were sacrificed after four weeks. Semiquantitative scale – including filling of defect (microfracture hole), reparative tissue thickness, cell morphology and subchondral bone maturation – was used for evaluation. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare individual and total scores. Total scores of the two-week group with adjuvant HBO2 therapy were significantly higher (P=0.0007) than the two-week standard treatment group. Except for subchondral bone maturation, individual scores were significantly higher in the two-week group with adjuvant HBO2 therapy. Total scores of the four-week groups were similar. Among individual scores of the four-week groups, filling of the defect (microfracture hole), and subchondral bone maturation were significantly higher (P=0.01, P=0.03) in groups with adjuvant HBO2 therapy. Adjuvant HBO2 therapy accelerates the healing process of cartilage lesions treated with microfracture in rats.

Başci, Çimşit, Zeren, Saglican, Akgün, Kocaoglu, Başdemir, Karahan (2018). Effect of adjuvant hyperbaric oxygen on healing of cartilage lesions treated with microfracture: an experimental study in rats. Undersea & hyperbaric medicine : journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc, ;45(4):411-419. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30241120