Br Med Bull 2019 12;132(1):97-116
Department of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Via Salvador Allende, 43, 84081 Baronissi SA, Italy, Salerno, Italy.
Background: Tendinopathy is a common musculoskeletal condition affecting subjects regardless of their activity level. Multiple inflammatory molecules found in ex vivo samples of human tendons are related to the initiation or progression of tendinopathy. Their role in tendon healing is the subject of this review.
Sources Of Data: An extensive review of current literature was conducted using PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library using the term 'tendon', as well as some common terms of tendon conditions such as 'tendon injury OR (tendon damage) OR tendonitis OR tendinopathy OR (chronic tendonitis) OR tendinosis OR (chronic tendinopathy) OR enthesitis' AND 'healing' AND '(inflammation OR immune response)' as either key words or MeSH terms.
Areas Of Agreement: An environment characterized by a low level of chronic inflammation, together with increased expression of inflammatory cytokines and growth factors, may influence the physiological tendon healing response after treatment.
Areas Of Controversy: Most studies on this topic exhibited limited scientific translational value because of their heterogeneity. The evidence associated with preclinical studies is limited.
Growing Points: The role of inflammation in tendon healing is still unclear, though it seems to affect the overall outcome. A thorough understanding of the biochemical mediators of healing and their pathway of pain could be used to target tendinopathy and possibly guide its management.
Areas Timely For Developing Research: We require further studies with improved designs to effectively evaluate the pathogenesis and progression of tendinopathy to identify cellular and molecular targets to improve outcomes.