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TECHNICAL PAPERS: Soft Tissue

Tendon to Bone Healing: Differences in Biomechanical, Structural, and Compositional Properties Due to a Range of Activity Levels

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Thomopoulos, G. R. Williams, L. J. Soslowsky

McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6081

J Biomech Eng 125(1), 106-113 (Feb 14, 2003) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1536660 History: Received January 01, 2002; Revised August 01, 2002; Online February 14, 2003
Copyright © 2003 by ASME
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Figures

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Tendon to bone healing study design. Note that for the CTL, CA, and EX groups, both shoulders had undergone the same treatment. Therefore, one shoulder was allocated for structural and compositional assays, and the contralateral was allocated for biomechanical assays. For the IM group, since only one shoulder was immobilized, separate animals were necessary for structural/compositional assays and for biomechanical assays (Fig. 1).
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Normal curve fits for the distribution data at 2 weeks and 16 weeks. Note that the IM group demonstrated superior organization relative to EX. Also note that the EX group showed little improvement over time.
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Collagen orientation in the CTL (A), IM (B), and EX (C) groups at the 8 week timepoint. Light field images are presented on the left, polarized light images are presented on the right (picrosirius red stain, 5× objective). Note the decreasing level of organization when comparing CTL (most organized, A), IM (B), and EX (least organized, C).
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Type XII collagen expression in the IM (A) and EX (B) groups at 2 weeks. Light field images are presented on the left, darkfield images are presented on the right (10× objective). Note the increased levels of type XII collagen in the IM (A) specimen compared to the EX specimen (B).
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Type III collagen expression in the IM (A) and EX (B) groups at 16 weeks. Light field images are presented on the left, darkfield images are presented on the right (10× objective). Note the increased levels of type III collagen in the EX (B) specimen compared to the IM specimen (A).
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Type X collagen expression in the CTL (A) and IM 2 week (B) groups. Light field images are presented on the left, darkfield images are presented on the right (20× objective). Note the decreased levels of type X collagen in the healing tissue (B) compared to the uninjured tissue (B)
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Geometry results for CTL, IM, CA, and EX. Cross sectional area was significantly increased in the injured groups relative to CTL. Area was significantly increased in the EX group compared to the IM group. (Mean +/− standard deviation, *: significant difference relative to CTL [p<0.05], # significant difference due to activity level [p<0.05]).
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Results for structural properties peak load, equilibrium load, and stiffness. Properties for all injury groups were significantly decreased compared to CTL. There were no differences when comparing activity level groups. (Mean +/− standard deviation, *: significant difference relative to CTL [p<0.05], # significant difference due to activity level [p<0.05]).
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Results for QLV parameters A, B, and τ2, and typical stress relaxation curve fits for IM and EX. ‘A’ was significantly decreased in injured groups relative to CTL. ‘A’ was significantly increased in the IM group compared to the EX and CA groups. ‘B’ was significantly decreased in injured groups relative to CTL. ‘B’ was significantly increased in the IM group compared to the EX and CA groups. ‘τ2’ was significantly decreased in the CA and EX groups relative to CTL. ‘τ2’ was significantly increased in the IM group compared to the EX groups. The IM group had a higher peak stress, and maintained this stress for a longer period of time, than the EX group. (Mean +/− standard deviation, *: significant difference relative to CTL [p<0.05], # significant difference due to activity level [p<0.05]).

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