Current rat model of rotator cuff (RC) tear could not mimic the suture anchor (SA) repair technique in the clinical practice. We designed a novel SA for RC repair of rats to establish a clinically relevant animal model. Small suture anchors that fit the rat shoulder were assembled. 60 rats were assigned to the transosseous (TO) repair group or SA repair group (n = 30/group). Micro‐computed tomography (Micro‐CT) scanning, biomechanical test and histological analysis were implemented at 2, 4, and 8‐week post‐repair. The failure load and stiffness in the SA group were significantly higher than those of TO group at 4‐week post‐repair. Micro‐computed tomography analysis showed the bone mineral density and trabecular thickness of the SA group were significantly lower than those of TO group. The SA group showed a better insertion continuity at 4‐week post‐repair compared to TO group. No significant difference in gait parameters was found between groups. Therefore, SA repair is applicable for the rat model of RC tears. The SA repair achieved superior RC tendon healing, but more extensive initial bone damage compared to TO repair, while the shoulder function was comparable. This model could replicate the current repair technique in the clinical situation and be considered for future preclinical studies on healing enhancement for RC tears. Statement of Clinical Significance: With high clinical relevance, this model may facilitate the translation from an animal study into clinical trials.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.