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Stem cells inside sutures could improve healing in Achilles tendon injuries

Date:
March 12, 2014
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
Sutures embedded with stem cells led to quicker and stronger healing of Achilles tendon tears than traditional sutures, according to a new study. Achilles tendon injuries are common for professional, collegiate and recreational athletes. These injuries are often treated surgically to reattach or repair the tendon if it has been torn. Patients have to keep their legs immobilized for a while after surgery before beginning their rehabilitation.

Researchers have found that sutures embedded with stem cells led to quicker and stronger healing of Achilles tendon tears than traditional sutures, according to a new study published in the March 2014 issue of Foot & Ankle International (published by SAGE).

Achilles tendon injuries are common for professional, collegiate and recreational athletes. These injuries are often treated surgically to reattach or repair the tendon if it has been torn. Patients have to keep their legs immobilized for a while after surgery before beginning their rehabilitation. Athletes may return to their activities sooner, but risk rerupturing the tendon if it has not healed completely.

Drs. Lew Schon, Samuel Adams, and Elizabeth Allen and Researchers Margaret Thorpe, Brent Parks, and Gary Aghazarian from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted the study. They compared traditional surgery, surgery with stem cells injected in the injury area, and surgery with special sutures embedded with stem cells in rats. The results showed that the group receiving the stem cell sutures healed better.

"The exciting news from this early work is that the stem cells stayed in the tendon, promoting healing right away, during a time when patients are not able to begin aggressive rehabilitation. When people can't fully use their leg, the risk is that atrophy sets in and adhesions can develop which can impact how strong and functional the muscle and tendon are after it is reattached," said Dr. Schon. "Not only did the stem cells encourage better healing at the cellular level, the tendon strength itself was also stronger four weeks following surgery than in the other groups in our study," he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. B. Adams, M. A. Thorpe, B. G. Parks, G. Aghazarian, E. Allen, L. C. Schon. Stem Cell-Bearing Suture Improves Achilles Tendon Healing in a Rat Model. Foot & Ankle International, 2014; 35 (3): 293 DOI: 10.1177/1071100713519078

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Stem cells inside sutures could improve healing in Achilles tendon injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312182026.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2014, March 12). Stem cells inside sutures could improve healing in Achilles tendon injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312182026.htm
SAGE Publications. "Stem cells inside sutures could improve healing in Achilles tendon injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312182026.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

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