Alendronate prevents bone loss and improves tendon-to-bone repair strength in a canine model

Stavros Thomopoulos, Hironori Matsuzaki, Melissa Zaegel, Richard H. Gelberman, Matthew J. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previously we showed a loss of bone and a concomitant decrease in mechanical properties in the first 21 days after flexor tendon insertion site injury and repair in a canine model. The goal of this short-term study was to suppress bone loss after insertion site repair using alendronate in an attempt to prevent the reduction in biomechanical properties. Flexor tendons of the second and fifth digits of the right forelimbs of canines were injured and repaired. Dogs received a daily oral dose of alendronate (2 mg/kg). One digit in each dog also received a local dose of alendronate in the bone tunnel at the time of surgery. The repair was evaluated for bone mineral density (BMD) and biomechanical properties and compared to data from a previous study in which no alendronate was used. Alendronate was effective in protecting the distal phalanx from resorption during tendon-to-bone healing (BMD was 94 and 104% of control for systemic alendronate and for systemic plus local alendronate, respectively). Alendronate treatment prevented much of the decrease in ultimate load that occurs in the first 21 days. Without treatment, ultimate load was 42% of control. With systemic alendronate treatment and systemic plus local alendronate treatment, ultimate load was 78 and 69% of control, respectively. Failure mode was significantly different when comparing alendronate treatment to repair alone. A lower incidence of suture pull through was found in alendronate treated dogs, suggesting less tendon degeneration. Ultimate load can be improved in association with preventing the bone loss that normally occurs during the early period following tendon-to-bone repair. These initial short-term data demonstrate the potential for a clinical treatment that could enhance tendon-to-bone healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-479
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

Keywords

  • Bisphosphonates
  • Enthesis
  • Flexor tendon
  • Insertion site
  • Tendon-to-bone healing

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