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Supraspinatus Muscle Architecture and Physiology in a Rabbit Model of Tenotomy and Repair

Sydnee A. Hyman, Isabella T. Wu, Laura S. Vasquez-Bolanos, Mackenzie B. Norman, Mary C. Esparza, Shannon N. Bremner, Shanelle N. Dorn, Ivan Ramirez, Donald C. Fithian, John G. Lane,
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Abstract: Chronic rotator cuff tears can cause severe functional deficits. Addressing the chronic fatty and fibrotic muscle changes is of high clinical interest; however, the architectural and physiological consequences of chronic tear and repair are poorly characterized. We present a detailed architectural and physiological analysis of chronic tear and repair (both over 8 and 16 weeks) compared to age-matched control rabbit supraspinatus (SSP) muscles. Using female New Zealand White Rabbits (N=30, n=6/group) under 2% isofluorane anesthesia, the SSP was surgically isolated and maximum isometric force measured at 4-6 muscle lengths. Architectural analysis was performed, and maximum isometric stress was computed. Whole muscle length-tension curves were generated using architectural measurements to compare experimental physiology to theoretical predictions. Architectural measures are consistent with persistent radial and longitudinal atrophy over time in tenotomy that fail to recover after repair. Maximum isometric force was significantly decreased after 16 wks tenotomy and not significantly improved after repair. Peak isometric force reported here are greater than prior reports of rabbit SSP force after tenotomy. Peak stress was not significantly different between groups and consistent with prior literature of SSP stress. Muscle strain during contraction was significantly decreased after 8-wks of tenotomy and repair, indicating effects of tear and repair on muscle function. The experimental length-tension data was overlaid with predicted curves for each experimental group (generated from structural data), exposing the altered structure-function relationship for tenotomy and repair over time. Data presented here contribute to understanding the physiological implications of disease and repair in the rotator cuff
Keywords: rotator cuff / muscle force / muscle stress / physiology / architecture

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