Tissue Engineering Solutions for Tendon Repair

J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 19, No 3, March 2011 MaCalus V. Hogan, MD, Namory Bagayoko, MD, Roshan James, MS, Trevor Starnes, MD, PhD, Adam Katz, MD and A. Bobby Chhabra, MD

Tendon injuries range from acute traumatic ruptures and lacerations to chronic overuse injuries, such as tendinosis. Even with improved nonsurgical, surgical, and rehabilitation techniques, outcomes following tendon repair are inconsistent. Primary repair remains the standard of care. However, repaired tendon tissue rarely achieves functionality equal to that of the preinjured state. Poor results have been linked to alterations in cellular organization within the tendon that occur at the time of injury and throughout the early stages of healing. Enhanced understanding of the biology of tendon healing is needed to improve management and outcomes. The use of growth factors and mesenchymal stem cells and the development of biocompatible scaffolds could result in enhanced tendon healing and regeneration. Recent advances in tendon bioengineering may lead to improved management following tendon injury.

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