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Rabbit Achilles tendon full transection model - wound healing, adhesion formation and biomechanics at 3, 6 and 12 weeks post-surgery


Meier Bürgisser, G; Calcagni, M; Bachmann, E; Fessel, G; Snedeker, J G; Giovanoli, P; Buschmann, J (2016). Rabbit Achilles tendon full transection model - wound healing, adhesion formation and biomechanics at 3, 6 and 12 weeks post-surgery. Biology Open, 2016(5):1324-1333.

Abstract

After tendon rupture repair, two main problems may occur: re-rupture and adhesion formation. Suitable non-murine animal models are needed to study the healing tendon in terms of biomechanical properties and extent of adhesion formation. In this study 24 New Zealand White rabbits received a full transection of the Achilles tendon 2 cm above the calcaneus, sutured with a 4-strand Becker suture. Post-surgical analysis was performed at 3, 6 and 12 weeks. In the 6-week group, animals received a cast either in a 180 deg stretched position during 6 weeks (adhesion provoking immobilization), or were re-casted with a 150 deg position after 3 weeks (adhesion inhibiting immobilization), while in the other groups (3 and 12 weeks) a 180 deg position cast was applied for 3 weeks. Adhesion extent was analyzed by histology and ultrasound. Histopathological scoring was performed according to a method by Stoll et al. (2011), and the main biomechanical properties were assessed. Histopathological scores increased as a function of time, but did not reach values of healthy tendons after 12 weeks (only around 15 out of 20 points). Adhesion provoking immobilization led to an adhesion extent of 82.7±9.7%, while adhesion inhibiting immobilization led to 31.9±9.8% after 6 weeks. Biomechanical properties increased over time, however, they did not reach full strength nor elastic modulus at 12 weeks post-operation. Furthermore, the rabbit Achilles tendon model can be modulated in terms of adhesion formation to the surrounding tissue. It clearly shows the different healing stages in terms of histopathology and offers a suitable model regarding biomechanics because it exhibits similar biomechanics as the human flexor tendons of the hand.

Abstract

After tendon rupture repair, two main problems may occur: re-rupture and adhesion formation. Suitable non-murine animal models are needed to study the healing tendon in terms of biomechanical properties and extent of adhesion formation. In this study 24 New Zealand White rabbits received a full transection of the Achilles tendon 2 cm above the calcaneus, sutured with a 4-strand Becker suture. Post-surgical analysis was performed at 3, 6 and 12 weeks. In the 6-week group, animals received a cast either in a 180 deg stretched position during 6 weeks (adhesion provoking immobilization), or were re-casted with a 150 deg position after 3 weeks (adhesion inhibiting immobilization), while in the other groups (3 and 12 weeks) a 180 deg position cast was applied for 3 weeks. Adhesion extent was analyzed by histology and ultrasound. Histopathological scoring was performed according to a method by Stoll et al. (2011), and the main biomechanical properties were assessed. Histopathological scores increased as a function of time, but did not reach values of healthy tendons after 12 weeks (only around 15 out of 20 points). Adhesion provoking immobilization led to an adhesion extent of 82.7±9.7%, while adhesion inhibiting immobilization led to 31.9±9.8% after 6 weeks. Biomechanical properties increased over time, however, they did not reach full strength nor elastic modulus at 12 weeks post-operation. Furthermore, the rabbit Achilles tendon model can be modulated in terms of adhesion formation to the surrounding tissue. It clearly shows the different healing stages in terms of histopathology and offers a suitable model regarding biomechanics because it exhibits similar biomechanics as the human flexor tendons of the hand.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:15 September 2016
Deposited On:02 Feb 2017 10:19
Last Modified:31 Aug 2017 07:49
Publisher:The Company of Biologists Ltd.
ISSN:2046-6390
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.020644
PubMed ID:27635037

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