Determination of the Viability of Crushed Cartilage Grafts: Clinical Implications for Wound Healing in Nasal Surgery

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Transplantation of uncrushed and crushed cartilage has assumed a role of great importance in reconstructive surgery of the nose. There are many divergent and contradictory opinions with regard to the outcome of cartilage, so we formulated this study to assess the functional state of chondrocytes in severely and mildly crushed as well as uncrushed and cut cartilage. Crushing and cutting leads to necrosis of a part of the graft. More of the cartilage cells are irreversibly damaged by crushing. The proportion of surviving cells, depending on the severity of crushing, is between 10 and 30%. In contrast to this, after cutting most of the cells remained viable and were able to proliferate. It is concluded that crushed cartilage not only remains unviable but is also not able to produce new cartilage; therefore, it will be subjected to resorption processes and not be useful for the reconstruction of parts of the nasal skeleton that support mechanical stress.

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