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Hylan GF-20 Used with Success on Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is located on the back of the lower calf and foot. Its location and function make it vulnerable to lots of force. This puts it at risk for tendonitis and rupture. In this study, hylan G-F 20 was used on the Achilles tendons of 18 rats. The scientists wanted to see what effects the hylan would have on Achilles tendonitis.

Hylan G-F 20 is an elastic fluid made from a substance called hyaluronan. Hyaluronan is found in normal joint fluid. Hyaluronan helps joints absorb shock. It's needed for the joint to work normally. When injected into the joint of a patient with osteoarthritis, hylan G-F 20 helps to restore the shock-absorbing effect of the fluid within the knee.

The authors tried hylan for Achilles tendonitis. They describe the experiment:

  • Step 1: Inject corticosteroid into the Achilles tendons of 18 rats.
  • Step 2: Rats rest for 5 days.
  • Step 3: Half the group got 12 hylan injections into the same tendon; half the group (control) was injected with a saline (salt) solution.
  • Step 4: Remove the Achilles tendon from each rat.
  • Step 5: Examine the tissue with a high-powered microscope.

    The authors found a big difference between the control group and the group that received hylan injections. The hylan had a positive effect on the tendon and its outer covering. They aren't sure how it worked exactly. The hylan may have anti-inflammatory effects.

    The results of this study suggest that hylan GF-20 can be used to treat acute and subacute tendonitis. It appears to have a curing effect on damaged tendons. Doctors may want to try using this substance on an experimental basis for tendon disorders.

    Hasan Tatari, et al. Effect of Hylan G-F 20 in Achilles' Tendonitis: An Experimental Study in Rats. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. September 2004. Vol. 85. No. 9. Pp. 1470-1475.

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