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Structure of retracted tendons after staged repair following continuous traction


Farshad, M; Gerber, C; Snedeker, J G; Frauenfelder, T; Meyer, D C (2011). Structure of retracted tendons after staged repair following continuous traction. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 19(12):2131-2137.

Abstract

PURPOSE: The effect of staged repair involving continuous re-lengthening of the retracted musculotendinous unit after rotator cuff tear is not known. We quantified changes in chronically retracted tendons undergoing no repair or a staged repair involving an initial re-lengthening of the musculotendinous unit by traction in a sheep model of massive rotator cuff tear. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Infraspinatus tendons of 12 sheep were released and allowed to retract for 4 months. Repair was performed after the retracted musculotendinous unit had been progressively returned to its original length through continuous traction in 8 sheep (group I). In the other 4 sheep (group II) traction was not successful and the tendons remained retracted. Tendon structure was assessed macroscopically, by MRI, histology, and TEM. RESULTS: Normalized to their contralateral controls, at sacrifice, tendon thickness was unchanged in group I (116%, n.s) and increased in group II (129%, P < 0.05), however with substantial shortening. Increased collagen fiber crimping and disorganization was found in group II, whereas in group I the differences from normal tendon were less pronounced. CONCLUSION: Retracted musculotendinous units have deteriorated tendons, characterized by increased collagen fiber crimp, and ultrastructural collagen fibril atrophy and disorganization. Continuous traction may arrest and partially restore degenerative changes in retracted tendon. The findings of this study might contribute to new approaches for the treatment of chronic "irreparable" rotator cuff tears.

PURPOSE: The effect of staged repair involving continuous re-lengthening of the retracted musculotendinous unit after rotator cuff tear is not known. We quantified changes in chronically retracted tendons undergoing no repair or a staged repair involving an initial re-lengthening of the musculotendinous unit by traction in a sheep model of massive rotator cuff tear. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Infraspinatus tendons of 12 sheep were released and allowed to retract for 4 months. Repair was performed after the retracted musculotendinous unit had been progressively returned to its original length through continuous traction in 8 sheep (group I). In the other 4 sheep (group II) traction was not successful and the tendons remained retracted. Tendon structure was assessed macroscopically, by MRI, histology, and TEM. RESULTS: Normalized to their contralateral controls, at sacrifice, tendon thickness was unchanged in group I (116%, n.s) and increased in group II (129%, P < 0.05), however with substantial shortening. Increased collagen fiber crimping and disorganization was found in group II, whereas in group I the differences from normal tendon were less pronounced. CONCLUSION: Retracted musculotendinous units have deteriorated tendons, characterized by increased collagen fiber crimp, and ultrastructural collagen fibril atrophy and disorganization. Continuous traction may arrest and partially restore degenerative changes in retracted tendon. The findings of this study might contribute to new approaches for the treatment of chronic "irreparable" rotator cuff tears.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:11 Mar 2011 16:35
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:47
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0942-2056
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-011-1430-3
PubMed ID:21318383
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-45825

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