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This is why it takes so long to get over tendon injuries
Date:2/15/2013

The Achilles heel of the body getting over damage to tendons can be a long and painful process. By combining the nuclear tests of the 1950s with tissue samples and modern technology, a research collaboration between the Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen now reveals why the healing process is so slow.

Many people are affected by injuries caused by straining the Achilles tendon and other tendons in the body. Danish athletes alone account for up to 200,000 injuries per year. This often leads to frustration over the poor treatment options available, and it can take several years to get over tendon damage. The long healing process has always been something of a mystery to medical science because the body's regeneration normally manages to remedy most injuries to human tissue. Research results now surprisingly show that the Achilles tendon remains the same throughout adult life. This new knowledge partly reveals why healing following an injury can be a long and painful process, and it opens up for possibilities for seeking new forms of treatment.

"It's fascinating that some parts of the body are designed to last an entire lifetime. The Achilles tendon can withstand very strong forces up to 500 kg when you're hopping, for example and you might think that it would be exposed to minor injuries all the time, thus requiring constant repair and renewal. Not the Achilles tendon, however. Its construction is very strong almost like a steel cable that has to last your whole life. Unfortunately, this 'tendon construction' does not last in a considerable number of cases, as can be testified by Denmark's numerous patients with strained tendons. With our new discovery, we can explain why the healing process can be difficult and take such a long time," explains Katja Heinemeier, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Inheritance from the Cold War

To find out how quickly the Achilles tendon can regenerate, the rese
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Contact: Senior Researcher Katja Heinemeier
katjaheinemeier@gmail.com
45-28-55-66-02
Aarhus University
Source:Eurekalert  

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