Original Research| Volume 49, ISSUE 5, P438-441, September 2010

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Biomechanical Evaluation of Acellular Collagen Matrix Augmented Achilles Tendon Repair in Sheep


      The rate of rerupture of repaired Achilles tendon in young and athletic populations remains high despite improvement in surgical techniques, suture design, and postsurgical management. Acellular biological matrices can be used to enhance the immediate strength of repaired tendons and to serve as scaffolds for cell in-growth and constructive tissue remodeling. A number of commercially available matrices have been used clinically, albeit with varying degrees of success and failure. The disparity is likely attributable to the different physical and biochemical properties of individual matrices. In this study, we investigated the biomechanical characteristics of 2 different acellular collagen matrices, namely TissueMend® and GraftJacket®, using a sheep Achilles tendon repair model. Static and cyclic creep, cyclic and linear construct stiffness, maximum load to failure, and displacement at maximum load were determined at time zero. We found that the maximum load to failure, displacement, and ultimate failure mode were similar between tendons augmented with either acellular collagen matrix; however, TissueMend augmentation yielded lower creep and smaller construct elongation than did GraftJacket. The results indicated that the strength of TissueMend-augmented tendons and GraftJacket-augmented tendons was not statistically significantly different, although tendons augmented with TissueMend displayed greater stiffness, which may be clinically advantageous in the restoration of ruptured tendons.

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