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Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2012 Apr 1;1(4):161-8. Print 2011 Oct.

Biological aspects of rotator cuff healing.

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  • 1Julius Wolff Institute, Center for Musculoskeletal Surgery, Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charit√© - Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin, German.


Tendon tears of the rotator cuff show a high prevalence in today's population. Patients suffer from permanent pain and disability, and surgical reconstruction may be the only possibility for abatement. The complex process of tendon-bone healing leads to mechanically inferior scar-tissue, which often results in retears or non-healing. In the current literature, factors such as patients age, sex and fatty muscle infiltration are highly correlated to the presence of rotator cuff tears and the incidence of retears. To improve the tendon tissue quality after surgical reconstructions biologically based strategies with use of growth factors arouse more and more interest in the last years. However, to optimize the treatment of rotator cuff tears the biological background of tears and retears must be investigated in more detail. This article will elucidate different aspects that have an impact on rotator cuff healing and give a brief insight in tendon/ligament cell culture and animal studies focusing on growth factor treatments.


age; fatty infiltration; growth factors; rotator cuff rupture; sex; tenocytes

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