Muscle injuries and repair: the role of prostaglandins and inflammation

Histol Histopathol. 2003 Oct;18(4):1243-56. doi: 10.14670/HH-18.1243.


Skeletal muscle injuries are a common problem in trauma and orthopaedic surgery. Muscle injuries undergo the healing phases of degeneration, inflammation, regeneration, and fibrosis. Current and experimental therapies to improve muscle regeneration and limit muscle fibrosis include conservative and surgical principles with the adjuvant use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and growth factor manipulation. NSAIDs appear to have a paradoxical effect on the healing of muscle injuries with early signs of improvement and subsequent late impairment in functional capacity and histology. In vitro and in vivo studies have explored the role of the cyclooxygenases and prostaglandins in the biological processes of healing muscle, including precursor cell activation, myoblast proliferation, myoblast fusion, and muscle protein synthesis. Through use of more specific cyclooxygenase inhibitors, we may be able to better understand the role of inflammation in muscle healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Prostaglandins / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Prostaglandins