Rotator cuff tears are common and are a frequent source of shoulder pain and disability. A wide variation in the prevalence of rotator cuff tears has been reported. The etiology of rotator cuff tear remains multifactorial and attempts to unify intrinsic and extrinsic theories tried to explain the etiopathogenesis of rotator cuff tears. Knowledge of the etiopathogenesis of rotator cuff tears is important to improve our therapies, surgical techniques and promote tendon repair. Several strategies have been proposed to enhance tendon healing and recently research has focused on regenerative therapies, such as Growth Factors (GFs) and Plasma Rich Platelet (PRP), with high expectations of success.
rotator cuff tears; shoulder; growth factors; platelet rich plasma
The structure of a tendon is an important example of complexity of ECM three-dimensional organization. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a macromolecular network with both structural and regulatory functions. ECM components belong to four major types of macromolecules: the collagens, elastin, proteoglycans, and noncollagenous glycoproteins. Tendons are made by a fibrous, compact connective tissue that connect muscle to bone designed to transmit forces and withstand tension during muscle contraction. Here we show the ultrastructural features of tendon’s components.
tendon; collagen; ultrastructure; extra-cellular matrix
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are involved in the development of tendinopathy. These potent enzymes completely degrade all components of the connective tissue, modify the extracellular matrix (ECM), and mediate the development of painful tendinopathy. To control the local activity of activated proteinases, the same cells produce tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP). These latter bind to the enzyme and prevent degradation. The balance between the activities of MMPs and TIMPs regulates tendon remodeling, whereas an imbalance produces a collagen dis-regulation and disturbances in tendons. ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) are cell membrane-linked enzymes with proteolytic and cell signaling functions.
ADAMTSs (ADAM with thrombospondin motifs) are secreted into the circulation and constitute a heterogenous family of proteases with both anabolic and catabolic functions. Further studies are needed to better define the mechanism of action, and whether these new strategies are safe and effective in larger models.
metalloproteases; tendinopathy; tendon healing
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult, nonhematopoietic, stem cells that were initially isolated from bone marrow. Now they can be isolated from almost every tissue of the body. They have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell lineage, including bone, chondrocytes, adipocytes, tenocytes and cardiomyocytes, and it makes them an attractive cell source for a new generation of cell-based regenerative therapies. In this review we try to summarize data on sources and the biological properties of MSCs.
bone marrow; mesenchymal stem cells; stromal cells; tissue engineering
Adhesive capsulitis is a condition “difficult to define, difficult to treat and difficult to explain from the point of view of pathology”. This Codman’s assertion is still actual because of a variable nomenclature, an inconsistent reporting of disease staging and many types of treatment. There is no consensus on how the best way best to manage patients with this condition, so we want to provide an evidence-based overview regarding the effectiveness of conservative and surgical interventions to treat adhesive capsulitis.
adhesive capsulitis; frozen shoulder; review; conservative treatment
In calcific tendinopathy (CT), calcium deposits in the substance of the tendon, with chronic activity-related pain, tenderness, localized edema and various degrees of decreased range of motion. CT is particularly common in the rotator cuff, and supraspinatus, Achilles and patellar tendons. The presence of calcific deposits may worsen the clinical manifestations of tendinopathy with an increase in rupture rate, slower recovery times and a higher frequency of post-operative complications. The aetiopathogenesis of CT is still controversial, but seems to be the result of an active cell-mediated process and a localized attempt of the tendon to compensate the original decreased stiffness. Tendon healing includes many sequential processes, and disturbances at different stages of healing may lead to different combinations of histopathological changes, diverting the normal healing processes to an abnormal pathway. In this review, we discuss the theories of pathogenesis behind CT. Better understanding of the pathogenesis is essential for development of effective treatment modalities and for improvement of clinical outcomes.
Calcific Tendinopathy; Calcific Deposits; Tendons; Review
Obesity is an important risk factor for Achilles tendinopathy, and running is usually carried out to reduce excess body weight. Aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Achilles tendinopathy in young over-weight amateur runners.
Male runners and non runners were recruited and, in each category, divided in two groups: normal weight, and overweight. Data about Achilles tendon thickness, vascularisation and structural abnormalities were collected using a Power Doppler Ultrasonography device. Achilles tendon thickness was greater in both normal weight or overweight runners, but the difference was significant only in normal weight subjects. In non - runners, thickness was significantly higher only in over-weight subjects. Sonographic abnormalities were significantly prevalent in overweight runners.
Running is associated to a physiologic hypertrophy of Achilles tendon in normal weight subjects. Overweight runners may precociously develop tendon abnormalities, due to the increased stress and the unfavourable milieu of repair.
Achilles tendon; obesity; running; tendinopathy; ultrasound
Long head biceps (LHB) tendinopathy is a common cause of anterior shoulder pain. Isolated LHB pathology is most common among younger people who practise overhead sports. The authors conducted a short-term prospective randomised study to test the effectiveness of two different methods for the treatment of isolated LHB tendinopathy: biphasic oscillatory waves and hyperthermia.
The study is a prospective randomised study (Level II).
Material and methods:
The authors identified 20 patients who had clinical and ultrasound (US) evidence of LHB tendinopathy. No patient was a high-level athlete. The patients were randomly assigned to two groups. Group A (10 patients) was treated with bi-phasic oscillatory waves, while Group B received hyperthermia. During the treatment period, no other electromedical therapy, injections with corticosteroids, oral analgesics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were allowed. All the patients were assessed at baseline (T0), immediately after the end of the treatment period (T1) and 6 months after the end of treatment (T2) using a visual analogic scale (VAS) and Constant-Murley Score (CMS). Furthermore, all patients underwent US examinations at T0 and at T1. All the US examinations were performed by the same radiologist.
The VAS scores showed a highly statistically significant reduction of pain at T1 both in Group A (65%; p=0,004) and in Group B (50%; p=0,0002). The CMS also showed a statistically significant improvement between the pre-intervention, the post-treatment and the short-term follow-up in both groups. In addition, the peritendinous fluid evident on US examination at T0 was no longer present in all cases at T1.
These findings suggest that both bi-phasic oscillatory waves and hyperthermia are able to relieve pain in patients with isolated LHB tendinopathy. This is a Class II level of evidence.
biphasic oscillatory waves; InterX; hyperthermia; long head biceps; rehabilitation; tendinopathy
The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) 1-injection during an Achilles tendon rat tear model. 80 male adult imbreded rats (Wistar Kyoto), underwent under surgical tendon rupture. 40 Animal (PRP group rats) were given a local injection with 0,25 mL of PRP, and 40 animal (control group) were given the same quantity of control solution. The rats were sacrified at 1, 2, 4 and 6 weeks (each time point, 20 rats of the each group) after surgical tear and tendon tissue was analysed by macroscopic aspect, histology, immunostaining and Real Time (RT)-PCR to evaluate tissue repair. PRP improved tendon remodelling by better coordination of the reconstructive process with earlier formation of tendon-like continuity only in the first week after surgery. However, after 2,4 and 6 weeks, Achilles tendons in the PRP group had no difference compared to the control group. Immunostaining and RT-PCR did not show any difference between PRP treated and untreated group. Based on these findings a single injection of PRP appear not useful for Achilles rat tendon tear.
growth factors; Achilles tendon tear; PRP; tendon repair
Pigmented villonodular synovitis is a proliferative disease involving joints, bursas and tendon sheaths with typical histological changes in the synovial tissue. A local and diffuse form are described. Aetiology is uncertain, MRI is helpful to establish the diagnosis, which is confirmed with by biopsy. Treatment is based on the principles of tumor resection: arthroscopically in the local form, or by a open synovectomy in the diffuse form, often followed by adjuvant radiotherapy. The rate of recurrence is high, but differs in consideration of the treatment chosen. We report a 35 year old soccer player with diffuse pigmented villonodular synovitis with a history of chronic swelling knee. The patient underwent a one step open synovectomy without adjuvant therapy, with the conservation of the heads of gastrocnemius muscle. At five years of follow-up, the patient had no sign of recurrence of the condition. One step open synovectomy in this patient showed an excellent outcome with the return to his previous sport. The short follow-up and the neoplastic characteristic of the disease cannot exclude the risk of recurrence.
Diffuse pigmented villonodular synovitis; Open sinovectomy; Soccer
We compared a minimally invasive surgical technique to the conventional (open approach) surgical technique used in fixation of hip fractures with the dynamic hip screw (DHS) device. Using a case-control design (44 cases and 44 controls), we tested the null hypothesis that there is no difference between the two techniques in the following outcome measures: duration of surgery, time to mobilisation and weight bearing postoperatively, length of hospital stay, mean difference of pre- and postoperative haemoglobin levels, position of the lag screw of the DHS device in the femoral head, and the tip–apex distance. The minimally invasive DHS technique had significantly shorter duration of surgery and length of hospital stay. There was also less blood loss in the minimally invasive DHS technique. The minimally invasive DHS technique produces better outcome measures in the operating time, length of hospital stay, and blood loss compared to the conventional approach while maintaining equal fixation stability.
Extraskeletal cartilaginous tumors are uncommon. Osteochondromas usually arise from the metaphyseal region of the growing skeleton.
A 53 year old man presented with a three years history of anterior knee pain and inability to flex his knee more than 90°. Clinical examination and imaging studies revealed a nodular calcific mass in the anterior portion of the knee, displacing the medial portion of the patellar tendon. Following excision, histopathology confirmed the diagnosis of extra-osseous osteochondroma-like soft tissue mass, with no recurrence 24 months after surgery.
An integrated clinical-pathologic diagnosis helps to clarify the nature of extraskeletal cartilaginous tumors that can arise at unusual anatomic site. Complete local surgical excision is the management of choice.
We studied 20 patients (mean age 47.9±3.9, range 25–85 years) undergoing percutaneous plating of the distal tibia for 43A or 43C fractures in the period 1999–2002. Bony and functional results were classified into four categories ranging from excellent to poor. Union was achieved in all but one patient. Seven patients had angular deformities between 7 and 10°, but none of these patients required further operations. No patient had a leg-length discrepancy greater than 1 cm. Thirteen patients had excellent and good bone results, and none used walking aids. Seven patients reported stiffness of the operated ankle. This reported use of percutaneous techniques in the management of fractures of the distal tibial metaphysis is preliminary. However, the functional results and the lack of soft tissue complications are encouraging.