Muscle-tendon morphomechanical properties of non-surgically treated Achilles tendon 1-year post-rupture

Khair, Ra'ad M, Stenroth, Lauri, Cronin, Neil ORCID: 0000-0002-5332-1188, Reito, Aleksi, Paloneva, Juha and Finni, Taija (2022) Muscle-tendon morphomechanical properties of non-surgically treated Achilles tendon 1-year post-rupture. Clinical Biomechanics, 92. p. 105568. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2021.105568

Text (Published version)
10594-Cronin-(2022)-Muscle-tendon-morphomechanical-properties-of-non-surgically-treated-Achilles-tendon.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Background Achilles tendon rupture appears to alter stiffness and length of the tendon. These alterations may affect the function of tendon in force transmission and in energy storage and recovery. We studied the mechanical properties of the Achilles' tendon post-rupture and their association with function. Methods Twenty-four (20 males, 4 females) participants (mean age: 43 y, 176 cm, 81 kg) were recruited. Ultrasonography and dynamometry were used to assess the muscle-tendon unit morphological and mechanical properties of non-surgically treated patients 1-year post rupture. Findings Injured tendons were longer with difference of 1.8 cm (95%CI: 0.5–1.9 cm; P < 0.001), and thicker by 0.2 mm (0.2–0.3 mm; P < 0.01). Medial gastrocnemius cross-sectional area was 1.0 cm2 smaller (0.8–1.1 cm2; P < 0.001), fascicles were 0.6 cm shorter (0.5–0.7 cm; P < 0.001) and pennation angle was 2.5° higher (1.3–3.6°; P < 0.001) when compared to the uninjured limb. We found no differences between injured and uninjured tendon stiffness 1-year post-rupture (mean difference: 29.8 N/mm, −7.7–67.3 N/mm; P = 0.170). The injured tendon showed 1.8 mm (1.2–2.4 mm; P < 0.01) lower elongation during maximal voluntary isometric contractions. Patient-reported functional outcome was related to the tendon resting length (β = 0.68, r(10) = 4.079, P = 0.002). Inter-limb differences in the medial gastrocnemius fascicle length were related to inter-limb differences in maximum contractions (β = 1.17, r(14) = 2.808, P = 0.014). Interpretation Longer Achilles tendon resting length was associated with poorer self-evaluated functional outcome. Although the stiffness of non-surgically treated and uninjured tendons was similar 1-year post rupture, plantar flexion strength deficit was still present, possibly due to shorter medial gastrocnemius fascicle length.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Achilles tendon rupture; Stiffness; Ultrasonography; Patient-reported outcomes
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2022 16:27
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2022 16:30

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.