Patients surgically implanted with bioscaffolds derived from pig tissues to treat muscle injury showed significant improvement in strength and range of motion, according to researchers.

The Muscle Tendon Tissue Unit Repair and Reinforcement Reconstructive Surgery Research Study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC) and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and sponsored by the US Department of Defense, was published recently in Regenerative Medicine.

“Previously, there was no effective treatment for these patients, but this approach holds significant promise,” says the study’s senior investigator, Stephen F. Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, in a media release from UPMC.

“This approach could be a game changer and not just an incremental advance,” adds Badylak, professor of surgery at Pitt and deputy director of the McGowan Institute, a joint effort of Pitt and UPMC.

The study involved 11 men and two women who had lost at least 25% of their leg or arm muscle volume and function.

Prior to beginning the study, they all underwent a physical therapy regimen that lasted from 4 to 16 weeks.

Then, according to the release, the study’s lead surgeon J. Peter Rubin, MD, UPMC professor and Chair of Plastic Surgery, Pitt School of Medicine, surgically implanted the bioscaffold, consisting of a “quilt” of compressed extracellular matrix (ECM) sheets designed to fill in their injury sites.

Within 48 hours after undergoing the procedure, all the participants resumed their physical therapy regimens for up to 24 additional weeks.

By 6 months postsurgery, all of the participants’ strength improved by 37.3% and their range of motion improved by 27.1% compared to their preoperative performance. Also, PT or MRI imaging showed that they all had an increase in their postoperative soft tissue formation.

“For well-selected patients with this type of loss, we now have a treatment available to help improve their function,” Rubin states in the release.

[Source(s): University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PRWeb]