Regenerative medicine in orthopedic use and wound care centers on the ability of stem cells to divide and become more specialized cells—such as bone, blood, or muscle. This flexibility makes regenerative medicine a popular field for continuing research. Regenerative medicine has also been studied because of its ability to reduce or eliminate the risk of infection by harvesting stem cells from and implanting them in the same individual. Finally, most regenerative medicine procedures are minimally invasive, and involve little-to-no rehabilitation, making the treatment more appealing to patients and doctors than some traditional treatments and surgeries.
Stem Cells Inside Sutures Could Improve Healing in Achilles Tendon Injuries
Researchers have found that sutures embedded with stem cells led to quicker and stronger healing of Achilles tendon tears than traditional sutures, according to a new study published in the March 2014 issue of Foot & Ankle International(published by SAGE).
Achilles tendon injuries are common for professional, collegiate and recreational athletes. These injuries are often treated surgically to reattach or repair the tendon if it has been torn. Patients have to keep their legs immobilized for a while after surgery before beginning their rehabilitation. Athletes may return to their activities sooner, but risk rerupturing the tendon if it has not healed completely.
Drs. Lew Schon, Samuel Adams, and Elizabeth Allen and Researchers Margaret Thorpe, Brent Parks, and Gary Aghazarian from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted the study. They compared traditional surgery, surgery with stem cells injected in the injury area, and surgery with special sutures embedded with stem cells in rats. The results showed that the group receiving the stem cell sutures healed better. Read more.