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Diabetes and musculoskeletal complications

A June 2022 study (1) examined the association between Diabetes mellitus and musculoskeletal complications-including tendon dysfunction and injury. The researchers write: “Patients with Diabetes show altered foot and ankle mechanics that have been attributed to tendon dysfunction as well as impaired recovery post-tendon injury. Despite the problem of Diabetes-related tendon complications, treatment guidelines specific to this population of individuals are lacking. Diabetes impairs tendon structure, function, and healing capacity in tendons throughout the body, but the Achilles tendon is of particular concern and most studied in the diabetic foot. At macroscopic levels, asymptomatic, diabetic Achilles tendons may show morphological abnormalities such as thickening, collagen disorganization, and/or calcific changes at the tendon enthesis.  . . In addition to dysfunction of the extracellular matrix, tendon cells such as tenocytes and tendon stem/progenitor cells show significant abnormalities in proliferation, apoptosis, and remodeling capacity in the presence of hyperglycemia and advanced glycation end-products, thus contributing to the disruption of tendon homeostasis and healing.”

1 Vaidya R, Lake SP, Zellers JA. Effect of Diabetes on Tendon Structure and Function: Not Limited to Collagen Crosslinking. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. 2022 Jun 2:19322968221100842.


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