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Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2013;47(4):266-72.

The effects of extracorporeal shock waves on carrageenan-induced Achilles tendinitis in rats: a biomechanical and histological analysis.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Başkent University, Ankara, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of low-dose extracorporeal shock waves (ESW) on the healing potential of Achilles tendinitis in the rat.


The 36 adult Sprague-Dawley rats used in this study were randomly divided into four groups. Group A (n=10) were injected with carrageenan, Group B (n=10) were injected with carrageenan and received ESW, Group C (n=10) received ESW only, and Group D (n=6) was a sham group. Rats were injected with 10 microliters of 3% carrageenan or a saline solution eight times during a one-week period with a subcutaneous needle. One week following the final injection, ESW was applied at a rate of 500 impulses in 5 minutes at 2 bars (comparative to 0.09 mJ/mm²) to rats in Groups B and C. Rats were sacrificed three weeks later. Tensile strength, inflammation, and vascularity and collagen density were measured.


Failure of the tendon ultimate loads was significantly lower in the study groups than in the control group (p<0.05). Collagen fiber density was higher in the control group than in the other groups (p=0.59). No other histological differences were found.


Low-dose ESW has a negative effect on tendon tensile strength in this animal model.

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