(HealthDay News) – Injections of skin-derived fibroblasts are safe and reduce pain in unilateral Achilles tendinosis, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Haron Obaid, MB, ChB, of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, UK, and colleagues conducted a randomized double-blind study of 40 Achilles tendons in 32 patients with Achilles tendinosis. Outcomes were compared for patients treated with injected laboratory-expanded, skin-derived fibroblasts suspended in autologous plasma and a control group receiving a local anesthetic and physical therapy. Outcome measures were evaluated based on visual analog scale (VAS) scores and the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment (VISA) questionnaire.

The researchers found that, for patients with unilateral involvement, there were significant differences between the treatment and control groups in the VISA and VAS scores at six months. In the VISA score, there were significant differences at the second visit, and at the three and six month visits. For the VAS score, there were significant differences at the second visit and at the six-month follow-up. For the eight patients with bilateral involvement there were no significant differences between the treatment group and control group with respect to the VISA or VAS scores.

“These preliminary short-term results demonstrate that the injection of skin-derived fibroblasts for the treatment of Achilles tendinosis is safe,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Innovacell.

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