The Effect of Mechanical Stimuli on Healing Achilles Tendons in Rats
Tendon healing is a slow process and the tendon may not regain its initial mechanical properties after rupture. Mechanical stimuli have shown to have positive effect on tendon healing. This study is the first to investigate the effect of vibration stimuli on healing tendons. Vibration was also compared to treadmill running, which has previously been used for mechanical stimuli.63 female Sprauge-Dawley rats were used. A 3 mm segment was removed from the Achilles tendon and the tendon was left to heal. The animals were subjected to 15 min of daily exercise, vibration or treadmill running or acted as controls without exercise. The study was divided into three experiments. Experiment 1; the animals had full time cage activity and was randomized into running, vibration and control group. Experiment 2; the animals were unloaded and randomized into vibration, running and control group. There was also a control group with full time cage activity in experiment 2. Experiment 3; the animals were unloaded and randomized into vibration and placebo group. 14 days after surgery the animals were killed and mechanical testing of the Achilles tendons was performed. The results showed no significant difference between the groups in experiment 1. Experiment 2 showed that controls with full time cage activity had higher peak load, stiffness and cross sectional area than unloaded running, vibration and control groups. In experiment 3, there was no significant difference between vibration and placebo group. In conclusion, this study shows that vibration, as applied here, does not affect tendon healing.
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