Differential strain patterns of the human Achilles tendon determined in vivo with freehand three-dimensional ultrasound imaging

Farris, Dominic James, Trewartha, Grant, McGuigan, M. Polly and Lichtwark, Glen A. (2013) Differential strain patterns of the human Achilles tendon determined in vivo with freehand three-dimensional ultrasound imaging. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 4: 594-600. doi:10.1242/jeb.077131

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Author Farris, Dominic James
Trewartha, Grant
McGuigan, M. Polly
Lichtwark, Glen A.
Title Differential strain patterns of the human Achilles tendon determined in vivo with freehand three-dimensional ultrasound imaging
Formatted title
Differential strain patterns of the human Achilles tendon determined in vivo with freehand three-dimensional ultrasound imaging
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
1477-9145
Publication date 2013-02-15
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.077131
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 216
Issue 4
Start page 594
End page 600
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The human Achilles tendon (AT) has often been considered to act as a single elastic structure in series with the muscles of the triceps surae. As such it has been commonly modelled as a Hookean spring of uniform stiffness. However, the free AT and the proximal AT have distinctly different structures that lend themselves to different elastic properties. This study aimed to use three-dimensional freehand ultrasound imaging to determine whether the proximal AT and the free AT exhibit different elastic behaviour during sub-maximal, fixed-end contractions of the triceps surae. Six male and five female participants (mean ± s.d. age=27±5 years) performed fixed position contractions of the plantar-flexors on an isokinetic dynamometer at 50% of their maximum voluntary contraction in this position. Freehand three-dimensional ultrasound imaging was used to reconstruct the free-tendon and proximal AT at rest and during contraction. The free-tendon exhibited significantly (P=0.03) greater longitudinal strain (5.2±1.7%) than the proximal AT (2.6±2.0%). The lesser longitudinal strain of the proximal AT was linked to the fact that it exhibited considerable transverse (orthogonal to the longitudinal direction) strains (5.0±4%). The transverse strain of the proximal AT is likely due to the triceps surae muscles bulging upon contraction, and thus the level of bulging may influence the elastic behaviour of the proximal AT. This might have implications for the understanding of triceps surae muscle–tendon interaction during locomotion, tendon injury mechanics and previous measurements of AT elastic properties.
Keyword Transverse strain
Triceps surae
Gastrocnemius
Elastic
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 1 November 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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