Supraspinatus tendon composition remains altered long after tendon detachment

Authors: Yokota et al.

References: J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2005 Jan-Feb;14(1 Suppl S):72S-78S.

Most rotator cuff surgery is performed on chronic tears, but changes in the composition of chronically torn tendons remain poorly understood. In this study we surgically created supraspinatus tears in the rat and analyzed the composition of the tendon over time using immunohistochemistry. We found that collagen types I and XII were greatly increased initially after injury and then decreased with time. Collagen type III was detected and persisted in the scar for months. Decorin and biglycan were increased initially and then decreased, although decorin remained elevated from normal for months after injury. Aggrecan and collagen type II were detected in small amounts after detachment, which was associated with the expression of sulfated glycosaminoglycans. These alterations were similar to those seen in human studies. As the quality of the tendon is an important factor in repair, these findings may partially explain why chronic tears heal differently than acute tears.


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