A rat tenotomy model was used to investigate the effect of combined conservative management and pulsed ultrasound (PUS) on the repair of tenotomized Achilles tendon. Hemitenotomy of right medial Achilles tendon was performed in 48 rats without suture, and patella tenotomy was performed to mimic immobilization and limb disuse of an injured limb. PUS and sham PUS were applied to the healing wound for the treatment group and control group for 5 min, 3 times per week for 2 or 4 weeks, respectively. Tensile tests showed that the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and stiffness of the repaired tendon in the treatment group at 2 weeks reached 48.92 ± 18.39% and 62.48 ± 32.46% of the contralateral normal tendon strength, which were significantly higher than those of the control group (UTS, 30.36 ± 15.46%; stiffness, 33.90 ± 17.59;p < 0.05). At 4 weeks, UTS increased to 77.09 ± 15.31% and stiffness to 92.48 ± 31.12% in the treatment group, significantly higher than those in the control group (UTS, 54.33 ± 18.40%, p < 0.01; stiffness, 65.02 ± 25.48%, p < 0.05). Light microscopy revealed more regular, denser, and better aligned collagen fibers in the healing scar of the PUS-treated healing tendons. The findings suggested that PUS were able to accelerate the healing of the ruptured tendons.
- Achilles tendon
- Pulsed ultrasound
- Tendon healing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine