Stem cells improve the outcome of ACL reconstruction surgery
In the US, more than 300, 000 ACL reconstructions are performed annually. About 20% of them involve replacing the torn ligament with a ligament from another person (allograft). Allografts have certain advantages like shorter operation times. They are suitable as a treatment option for those with multiple ligament injuries.
However, the clinical outcome of surgeries involving allografts is 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 the study were looking at methods to improve ACL reconstruction surgery results.
Using a rabbit model, the researchers showed that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and decellularized free tendon allografts were effective for improving ACL reconstruction results.
Lu, W, Xu, J, Dong, S. et al. (2019) Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in a Rabbit Model Using a Decellularized Allogenic Semitendinous Tendon Combined with Autologous Bone Marrow‐Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Stem Cells Trans. 8:971–982. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/sctm.18-0132.