Effect of bone mineral density on rotator cuff tear: An osteoporotic rabbit model

Xiaobin Chen, Hugo Giambini, Ephraim Ben-Abraham, Kai Nan An, Ahmad Nassr, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction An increased bone mineral density (BMD) in the proximity to tendon insertion can improve rotator cuff repair and healing. However, how a decrease of BMD in the humeral head affects the biomechanical properties of the rotator cuff tendon is still unclear. Previous studies have demonstrated ovariectomy in animals to lead to osteoporosis and decreased BMD, and Teriparatide (PTH) administration to improve BMD and strength of bone. This study aimed to explore the correlation between humeral head BMD and infraspinatus (ISP) tendon insertion strength, and if an increase in bone quantity of the humeral head can improve the strength of the rotator cuff. Materials and Methods Eighteen New England white rabbits were divided into the 3 groups: Control, Ovariectomy- Saline (OVX-Saline), and Ovariectomy-PTH (OVX-PTH). The OVX-Saline group and the OVX-PTH were administered daily saline and Teriparatide injections for 8 weeks starting at 17 weeks of OVX. BMD of the humeral head was measured, the ISP tendon failure load was tested and the failure stress was calculated. One specimen from each group was used for histological analysis. Linear regression analysis was used to derive equations for the BMD and failure stress. Results Significant differences were observed in the measured humeral head BMD of the Control and OVX-PTH groups compared to the OVX-Saline group (P = 0.0004 and P = 0.0024, respectively). No significant difference was found in failure stress among the three groups, but an expected trend with the control group and OVX-PTH group presenting higher failure strength compared to the OVX-Saline group. BMD at the humeral head showed a positive linear correlation with stress (r2 = 0.54). Histology results showed the superiority in OVXPTH group ISP enthesis compared to the OVX-Saline group. Conclusion Bone loss of the humeral head leads to decreased tendon/bone insertion strength of the infraspinatus tendon enthesis. Teriparatide administration can increase bone density of the humeral head and may improve the mechanical properties of the infraspinatus tendon enthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA1043
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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