Achilles Tendon Repair Improved By Embedding Stem Cells Into Sutures


New research published in Foot & Ankle International by Dr Samuel Adams Jr and colleagues has shown promising results with Achilles tendon repairs. They cut the Achilles tendon of rats and then performed 3 types of surgical repair:

  • repair with suture only (SO)
  • repair with suture plus injection of stem cells at the repair site (SI)
  • repair with suture loaded with stem cells (SCS)

The Achilles tendons were analysed and tested for strength at 14 days and 28 days post surgery. The SI and the SCS groups had significantly higher ultimate failure strength than the SO group. Strength was maintained at 28 days in the SCS group but not in the SI group. Cellular analysis in the SCS group was significantly better than in the two other groups.

The findings suggest that, following surgery, the use of stem cells can enhance the healing of Achilles tendons and embedding stem cells directly into sutures offers even more benefit than injecting stem cells.

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