Minimizing Injury and Maximizing Return to Play: Lessons from Engineered Ligaments, 2017

Topics: training, minimizing injury, return to play, supplementation

Authors: Keith Baar

Abstract

Musculoskeletal injuries account for more than 70% of time away from sports. One of the reasons for the high number of injuries and long return to play is that we have only a very basic understanding of how our training alters tendon and ligament (sinew) structure and function. Sinews are highly dense tissues that are difficult to characterize both in vivo and in vitro. Recently, engineered ligaments have been developed in vitro using cells from human anterior cruciate ligaments or hamstring tendons. These three-dimensional tissues can be grown in a laboratory, treated with agents thought to affect sinew physiology, and then mechanically tested to determine their function. Using these tissues, we have learned that sinews, like bone, quickly become refractory to an exercise stimulus, suggesting that short (

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