Objectives: This study aims to investigate the contribution of glucosamine-chondroitin sulphate (GlcN-CS) to the healing of tendons within the bone tunnel.
Materials and methods: Tendon-to-bone healing was investigated in 28 New Zealand rabbits by re-attaching the extensor digitorum longus tendon into bone tunnel which was created in the proximal tibia. Rabbits were separated into two groups as treatment and control groups. Treatment group (n=14) received 210-250 mg/kg/day glucosamine sulphate and 170-200 mg/kg/day chondroitin sulphate, whereas control group (n=14) received equivalent dose of vehicle. Treatment and control groups were compared at sixth and 12th week after the procedure according to histological and biomechanical analysis. Yamakado scoring system was used to evaluate the histological changes.
Results: According to histological analysis, scores were significantly higher at both sixth and 12th week evaluations in the treatment group (p=0.029). Although not statistically significant, the ultimate pullout strength was higher in the treatment group at the 12th week evaluation (35.3 N/mm2 vs. 24.3 N/mm2) (p>0.05). However, stripping occurred at the muscle-tendon junction in the treatment group whereas tendons stripped from the bone tunnels in the control group. While no tendons in the treatment group stripped from the bone tunnels, we observed at sixth and 12th week evaluations that tendons in the control group stripped from the tunnels.
Conclusion: Glucosamine-chondroitin sulphate treatment enhances tendon-to-bone healing by increasing hyaline cartilage formation and decreasing formation of capillary vessels.