Stiffness mapping of lower leg muscles during passive dorsiflexion

Le Sant, Guillaume, Nordez, Antoine, Andrade, Ricardo, Hug, Francois, Freitas, Sandro and Gross, Raphael (2017) Stiffness mapping of lower leg muscles during passive dorsiflexion. Journal of Anatomy, 230 5: 639-650. doi:10.1111/joa.12589

Author Le Sant, Guillaume
Nordez, Antoine
Andrade, Ricardo
Hug, Francois
Freitas, Sandro
Gross, Raphael
Title Stiffness mapping of lower leg muscles during passive dorsiflexion
Journal name Journal of Anatomy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-7580
Publication date 2017-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/joa.12589
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 230
Issue 5
Start page 639
End page 650
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
It is challenging to differentiate the mechanical properties of synergist muscles in vivo. Shear wave elastography can be used to quantify the shear modulus (i.e. an index of stiffness) of a specific muscle. This study assessed the passive behavior of lower leg muscles during passive dorsiflexion performed with the knee fully extended (experiment 1, n = 22) or with the knee flexed at 90° (experiment 2, n = 20). The shear modulus measurements were repeated twice during experiment 1 to assess the inter-day reliability. During both experiments, the shear modulus of the following plantar flexors was randomly measured: gastrocnemii medialis (GM) and lateralis (GL), soleus (SOL), peroneus longus (PL), and the deep muscles flexor digitorum longus (FDL), flexor hallucis longus (FHL), tibialis posterior (TP). Two antagonist muscles tibialis anterior (TA), and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) were also recorded. Measurements were performed in different proximo-distal regions for GM, GL and SOL. Inter-day reliability was adequate for all muscles (coefficient of variation < 15%), except for TP. In experiment 1, GM exhibited the highest shear modulus at 80% of the maximal range of motion (128.5 ± 27.3 kPa) and was followed by GL (67.1 ± 24.1 kPa). In experiment 2, SOL exhibited the highest shear modulus (55.1 ± 18.0 kPa). The highest values of shear modulus were found for the distal locations of both the GM (80% of participants in experiment 1) and the SOL (100% of participants in experiment 2). For both experiments, deep muscles and PL exhibited low levels of stiffness during the stretch in young asymptomatic adults, which was unknown until now. These results provide a deeper understanding of passive mechanical properties and the distribution of stiffness between and within the plantar flexor muscles during stretching between them and thus could be relevant to study the effects of aging, disease progression, and rehabilitation on stiffness.
Keyword Ankle joint
Passive tension
Plantar flexors
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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