Biopsies of 30 autogenous auricular cartilage grafts previously placed in 21 patients with ankylosis and arthropathy of the temporomandibular joint were studied. These joints were reoperated because of persistent pain and limitation of motion. Histologically, all grafts showed viability of the cartilage. Eighteen cartilage grafts placed after Proplast (Vitek, Inc, Houston, TX) or Silastic (Dow Corning, Midland, MI) implants had been removed, all showed foreign-body granuloma with coexistent intact cartilage grafts. This indicated that the autogenous auricular cartilage was resistant to the foreign-body reaction. All cartilage grafts were encased by fibrous tissue. This overgrowth of fibrous tissue may be responsible for the ankylosis. Seven grafts showed cartilaginous proliferation grossly and all showed proliferation histologically. The cartilage proliferation also may contribute to the persistent symptoms and recurrent limitation of joint motion.
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