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Stem Cell Applications, Tendon and Ligament

  • By: Ray Vanderby & Connie Chamberlain
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

LIGAMENT AND TENDON injuries due to traumatic rupture, overuse, and/or inflammatory processes rank as the 15th most prevalent musculoskeletal condition. Tendon injuries comprise 30–50 percent of all sports injuries, and ligament injuries to the knee joint alone occur in 0.2 percent of the general population per year. Of these knee ligament injuries, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are 95,000 per year and medial collateral ligament (MCL) account for 90 percent. These injuries result in tissue that is compromised ultrastructurally, biochemically, and mechanically years after the injury.

Ligaments and tendons are similarly constructed. They are hypovascular, hypocellular, and hyponeuronal bands of dense connective tissue fibers that connect bone to bone and bone to muscle, respectively, to mediate stability of diarthrodial joints and normal musculoskeletal movement. The ...

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