2006-07: Project Seven
Are canine Achilles tendon injuries linked to a lack of blood supply?
Drs. Cindy Shmon, Peter Gilbert and Kathleen Linn
In this project, a team of WCVM researchers will evaluate whether a lack of blood supply to parts of the canine Achilles tendon plays a role in chronic tendon injuries — a common, progressive problem that can result in complete rupture of the tendon.
Human medical research has shown that certain regions of the Achilles tendon are avascular (without a blood supply) which explains why tendon rupture is more prone in these areas. Based on these findings, WCVM scientists will evaluate the blood supply in the hind limbs of canine cadavers and determine if — like humans — there are areas of poor blood supply within the canine Achilles tendon.
By gaining a more detailed understanding of the tendon’s blood supply and its area of attachment on the calcaneus (heel bone), surgical specialists can manage early injuries more effectively and modify repair techniques to preserve and enhance the blood supply to the repaired tendon.