Original Research| Volume 49, ISSUE 2, P128-134, March 2010

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Comparison of Achilles Tendon Repair Techniques in a Sheep Model Using a Cross-linked Acellular Porcine Dermal Patch and Platelet-rich Plasma Fibrin Matrix for Augmentation

Published:February 05, 2010DOI:


      The primary goal of this study was to evaluate a cross-linked acellular porcine dermal patch (APD), as well as platelet-rich plasma fibrin matrix (PRPFM), for repair of acute Achilles tendon rupture in a sheep model. The 2 surgically transected tendon ends were reapproximated in groups 1 and 2, whereas a gap was left between the tendon ends in group 3. APD was used to reinforce the repair in group 2, and autologous PRPFM was used to fill the gap, which was also reinforced with APD, in group 3. All sheep were humanely euthanized at 24 weeks after the repair, and biomechanical and histological testing were performed. Tensile strength testing showed a statistically significant difference in elongation between the operated limb and the unoperated contralateral limb in groups 1 and 3, but not in group 2. All operated tendons appeared healed with no apparent fibrosis under light and polarized microscopy. In group 1, all surgical separation sites were identifiable, and healing occurred via increasing tendon thickness. In group 2, healing occurred with new tendon fibers across the separation, without increasing tendon thickness in 2 out of 6 animals. Group 3 showed complete bridging of the gap, with no change in tendon thickness in 2 out of 6 animals. In groups 2 and 3, peripheral integration of the APD to tendon fibers was observed. These findings support the use of APD, alone or with PRPFM, to augment Achilles tendon repair in a sheep model.

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