Recent research has found that stem cells may offer a promising new solution for treating Achilles tendon ruptures. Conventional treatment options for Achilles tendon ruptures have significant limitations. Some treatments work only to combat the symptoms related to Achilles tendon ruptures but do not work to repair the damage. These options are also time-consuming and often ineffective. Surgical interventions, on the other hand, involve high degrees of risk related to complications due to things like infection and nerve damage.
Given the opportunity for stem cells to help repair tissue damage, physicians and researchers have begun to focus on how stem cells may be specifically applied to treat Achilles tendon ruptures. The current study assessed two different types of stem cells in Achilles tendon rupture repair. These cells, called bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and tendon-derived stem cells, have advantages over other stem cell types in their potential to help with Achilles tendon rupture. For instance, both stem cell types proliferate quickly.
Because tendon-derived stem cells are specific to the tendon, the researchers hypothesized that these cells would be more effective in Achilles tendon rupture repair than bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. To test their idea, they implanted the two stem cell types into ruptured Achilles tendons and look at the impact of each stem cell type.
The researchers found that both types of stem cells were effective in improving the potential for ruptured Achilles tendons to heal. Consistent with their hypothesis, however, they found that the tendon-derived stem cells were more effective than were the bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Further research will likely help the medical community understand how best to use stem cells to address issues like ruptured Achilles tendons.
To learn more about the benefits of stem cell therapy, click here.