Sports injuries can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common injuries experienced by athletes that play sports like soccer, football and basket ball, which involves sudden stops or changes in directions. If the injury is just a sprain it will like heal with rest, but if your ACL tears you might need surgery to fit it.
In the US more than 300, 000 ACL reconstructions are performed annual. About 20% of them involve replacing the torn ligament with a ligament from another person (allograft). While allografts have certain advantages like shorter operation times, and being suitable as a treatment option for those with multiple ligament injuries, the clinical outcome of surgeries involving allografts are often not satisfactory. Allografts are slower to heal, tend to be weaker, and run the risk of being rejected. This is why the researchers involved in study were looking at methods to improve the results from ACL reconstruction surgery.
Using a rabbit model the researchers showed that application of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and decellularized free tendon allografts were effective for improving ACL reconstruction results.
More details on this study can be found here.