Atelocollagen Enhances the Healing of Rotator Cuff Tendon in Rabbit Model

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Abstract

Background:

Failure of rotator cuff healing is a common complication despite the rapid development of surgical repair techniques for the torn rotator cuff.

Purpose:

To verify the effect of atelocollagen on tendon-to-bone healing in the rabbit supraspinatus tendon compared with conventional cuff repair.

Study Design:

Controlled laboratory study.

Methods:

A tear of the supraspinatus tendon was created and repaired in 46 New Zealand White rabbits. They were then randomly allocated into 2 groups (23 rabbits per group; 15 for histological and 8 for biomechanical test). In the experimental group, patch-type atelocollagen was implanted between bone and tendon during repair; in the control group, the torn tendon was repaired without atelocollagen. Each opposite shoulder served as a sham (tendon was exposed only). Histological evaluation was performed at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Biomechanical tensile strength was tested 12 weeks after surgery.

Results:

Histological evaluation scores of the experimental group (4.0 ± 1.0) were significantly superior to those of the control group (7.7 ± 2.7) at 12 weeks (P = .005). The load to failure was significantly higher in the experimental group (51.4 ± 3.9 N) than in the control group (36.4 ± 5.9 N) (P = .001).

Conclusion:

Histological and biomechanical studies demonstrated better results in the experimental group using atelocollagen in a rabbit model of the supraspinatus tendon tear.

Clinical Relevance:

Atelocollagen patch could be used in the cuff repair site to enhance healing.

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