Effects of flunixin meglumine on experimental tendon wound healing: A histopathological and mechanical study in rabbits

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


Tendons are frequently targets of injury in sports and work. Whether nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have beneficial effects on tendon healing is still a matter of debate. This study was conducted to evaluate effects of flunixin meglumine (FM) on tendon healing after experimentally induced acute trauma. Twenty eight adult male New Zealand White rabbits were subjected to complete transection of deep digital flexor tendons followed by suture placement. Treatment group received intramuscular injection of FM for three days, and controls received placebo. Subsequently, cast immobilization was continued for two weeks. Animals were sacrificed four weeks after surgery and tissue samples were taken. The histological evaluations revealed improved structural characteristics of neotendon formation including fibrillar linearity, fibrillar continuity and neovascularization in treatment group compared to those of controls (p < 0.05). However, no significant differences were found between two groups in terms of epitenon thickness (p > 0.05). Mechanical evaluation revealed significant increase in load-related material properties including ultimate load, yield load, energy absorption and ultimate stress in treatment group compared to those of control group (p < 0.05). However, no statistically significant differences in terms of stiffness and ultimate strain were found (p > 0.05). The present study showed that intramuscular injection of FM resulted in improved structural and mechanical properties of tendon repairs and it could be an effective treatment for acute tendon injuries like severance and laceration.


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