Effects of Supplemental Oxygen and Hyperbaric Oxygen on Tendon Healing in a Rat Model


Systemic supplemental oxygen therapy (SOT) and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) have been shown to positively impact wound healing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of SOT and HBOT on tendon healing in a rat tendon model. The right patellar tendon of 90 male Sprague-Dawley rats was completely sectioned. Animals were randomized to receive HBOT, SOT, or room air therapy. Animals were sacrificed at 3- and 6-weeks postoperatively. The ultimate tensile strength in axial extension was compared between groups. Statistical significance was calculated using the Student’s t-test. The SOT group exhibited the highest tensile strength at both time-points, although HBOT was the only treatment that exhibited a statistically significant increase in tensile strength between time-periods (p D 0.006). There was no statistical difference in ultimate tensile strength when the three groups were compared at the 3- or 6-week time-points. Results presented here cannot support the premise that intermittent HBOT or SOT significantly increases the healing of tendon repairs. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 20(4):225–229, 2011)

Ryan Sieg, MD, E’Stephan J. Garcia, MD, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, MD,
Todd Collins, DVM, and Brett D. Owens, MD