Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 469, Issue 5, pp 1512–1516 | Cite as

Emerging Ideas: Soft Tissue Applications of Radiostereometric Analysis

Emerging Ideas

Abstract

Background

Currently, the movement that occurs at the site of soft tissue repair cannot be measured accurately in vivo. Radiostereometric analysis (RSA) is the gold standard for measuring movement between two skeletal segments in vivo but its application to studying soft tissue migration has been limited by the unknown stability of tantalum beads in tendons and ligaments and their ability to define rigid bodies in these structures.

Hypothesis

RSA can be used to accurately measure movement between two tendon segments or between a bony and a tendon segment in vivo.

Methods of Study

The stability of tantalum beads and the ability to use such beads to define rigid bodies in some soft tissues will be investigated in animal models of tendon repair. Several tantalum bead insertion techniques will be tested using in vivo RSA measurements of bead movement followed by morphologic studies of the repaired tendon and soft tissue reaction to the tantalum beads.

Significance

RSA performed on tantalum beads encapsulated in muscles and tendons could be a powerful new tool to study the in vivo motion at the site of soft tissue repairs, for instance, the tendon gap formation. If RSA could be used to evaluate the efficiency of different tendon repair techniques in vivo, enhanced rehabilitation protocols could be developed and complications associated with prolonged protection or failure of repair could be reduced.

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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumaUniversity of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide HospitalAdelaideAustralia

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