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J Biomech. 2004 Jun;37(6):865-77.

Biomechanics of tendon injury and repair.

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McKay Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, 424 Stemmler Hall, 36th and Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6081, USA.


Many clinical and experimental studies have investigated how tendons repair in response to an injury. This body of work has led to a greater understanding of tendon healing mechanisms and subsequently to an improvement in their treatment. In this review paper, characterization of normal and healing tendons is first covered. In addition, the debate between intrinsic and extrinsic healing is examined, and the cellular and extracellular matrix response following a tendon injury is detailed. Next, clinical and experimental injury and repair methods utilizing animal models are discussed. Animal models have been utilized to study the effect of various activity levels, motions, injury methods, and injury locations on tendon injury and repair. Finally, current and future treatment modalities for improving tendon healing, such as tissue engineering, cell therapy, and gene therapy, are reviewed.

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