In recent years, there have been rapid developments in the use of growth factors such as IGF-1 for accelerated healing of injury. The crucial role of IGF-1 in wound healing and tissue repair has been successfully used in plastic surgery and the technology is now being developed for orthopedics and sports medicine applications.  Growth factors mediate the biological processes necessary for repair of muscles, tendons and ligaments following acute traumatic or overuse injury. In one study, Provenzano et al. reported that systemic administration of IGF-1 improved healing in collagenous connective tissue, such as ligament.  In a similar study, Kurtz et al. found out that IGF-1 has an anti-inflammatory mechanism which reduces maximum functional deficit and accelerates recovery after Achilles tendon injury.  In another study, Emel et al. investigated the effects of local administration of IGF-1 on the functional recovery of paralyzed muscles.  The results of the study showed that IGF-1 administration increased the rate of axon (nerve fiber) regeneration in crush-injured and freeze-injured sciatic nerves of the lower spine, buttocks and back of the thigh. Furthermore, numerous studies even show that IGF-1 can accelerate the regeneration of damaged body structures. [119-122]
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