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Anabolic Steroids help improve Surgical Repair of Shoulder Tears
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July 9, 2009  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

Anabolic Steroids help improve Surgical Repair of Shoulder TearsAccording to a new research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an anabolic steroid treatment has the potential to improve surgical repair of massive and recurrent tears of rotator cuff tendons.

These kinds of injuries mainly happen with high performance athletes, bodybuilders, and collegiate including golf and tennis players.

This study was led by Dr. Spero Karas, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery in UNC’s School of Medicine. A bioengineered tendon was developed by Dr. Albert J. Banes, professor of orthopedics and biomedical engineering at UNC, which predominantly figured during this study.

From News-Medical.Net:

“In this new study, supraspinatus tendon cells were harvested from my patients during rotator cuff surgery, isolated and then sent to Albert’s lab,” Karas said. “The cells were then grown in his culture media to coalesce and form this experimental tendon model, the bioartificial tendon.”

Prior to applying mechanical strain, the researchers treated some of the developing tissue with the anabolic steroid nandrolone decoanate. The steroid was administered directly into the lab dish via pipette, or dropper.

“We clearly found that when you looked at the bioartificial tendon matrices that were treated with anabolic steroid and then mechanical load or strain, we saw significant increases in their biomechanical properties,” Karas said.

“The tendons were smaller, more dense, stronger, more elastic and had better remodeling properties than tissue cells not treated with steroid or placed under strain,” he said. “They responded better to the load and formed a more normal appearing tendon, versus a more disorganized matrix we see in the untreated bioartificial tendon.”

Thus, said Karas, it appeared that load and anabolic steroid “act synergistically” to improve the characteristics of tendon.

Karas said the research had clinical applications, including the possibility of a day when bioartificial tendon matrices might literally help bridge the gap between deficient human tissue and the normal state – that is, to bridge the holes that remain following surgery for large rotator cuff tears.

Dr. Karas remarked that since the properties of steroids, well-known for building muscle mass and strength are known to one and all, and he believed that they can be applied to the shoulder tissue also. He also remarked that the bioartificial tendon provided by Banes could act as an appropriate model for testing.

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