Parecoxib impairs early tendon repair but improves later remodeling

Olena Virchenko, Björn Skoglund, Per Aspenberg
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2004, 32 (7): 1743-7

BACKGROUND: Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors inhibit bone repair.

HYPOTHESIS: Cyclooxygenase inhibitors might also have a negative effect on early tendon repair, although a positive effect on late tendon repair previously has been shown.

STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study.

METHODS: Achilles tendon transection was performed on 80 rats. Sixty rats were given daily intramuscular injections of either parecoxib (6.4 mg/kg body weight) or saline for the first 5 days after surgery and sacrificed either at 8 or 14 days. The remaining 20 rats were given intramuscular parecoxib or saline injections from day 6 until sacrifice at 14 days.

RESULTS: At 8 days, early parecoxib treatment caused a 27% decrease in force at failure (P = .007), a 25% decrease in maximum stress (P = .01), and a 31% decrease in energy uptake (P = .05). Stiffness and transverse area were not significantly affected. At 14 days, early parecoxib treatment caused a decrease in stiffness (P = .004). In contrast to early treatment, late parecoxib treatment caused a 16% decrease in cross-sectional area (P = .03) and a 29% increase in maximum stress (P = .04).

CONCLUSIONS: During early tendon repair, a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor had a detrimental effect. During remodelling, however, inflammation appears to have a negative influence, and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors might be of value.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The results suggest that cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors should be used with care in the early period after tendon injury.

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