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The free achilles tendon is shorter, stiffer, has larger cross-sectional area and longer T2 relaxation time in trained middle-distance runners compared to healthy controls.pdf (1.14 MB)

The free achilles tendon is shorter, stiffer, has larger cross-sectional area and longer T2* relaxation time in trained middle-distance runners compared to healthy controls

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Version 2 2022-10-06, 05:02
Version 1 2021-01-17, 13:19
journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-06, 05:02 authored by D Devaprakash, Steven ObstSteven Obst, DG Lloyd, RS Barrett, B Kennedy, I Ball, KL Adams, TJ Collings, G Davico, A Hunter
Tendon geometry and tissue properties are important determinants of tendon function and injury risk and are altered in response to ageing, disease, and physical activity levels. The purpose of this study was to compare free Achilles tendon geometry and mechanical properties between trained elite/sub-elite middle-distance runners and a healthy control group. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure free Achilles tendon volume, length, average cross-sectional area (CSA), regional CSA, moment arm, and T2* relaxation time at rest, while freehand three-dimensional ultrasound (3DUS) was used to quantify free Achilles tendon mechanical stiffness, Young’s modulus, and length normalised mechanical stiffness. The free Achilles tendon in trained runners was significantly shorter and the average and regional CSA (distal end) were significantly larger compared to the control group. Mechanical stiffness of the free Achilles tendon was also significantly higher in trained runners compared to controls, which was explained by the group differences in tendon CSA and length. T2* relaxation time was significantly longer in trained middle-distance runners when compared to healthy controls. There was no relationship between T2* relaxation time and Young’s modulus. The longer T2* relaxation time in trained runners may be indicative of accumulated damage, disorganised collagen, and increased water content in the free Achilles tendon. A short free Achilles tendon with large CSA and higher mechanical stiffness may enable trained runners to rapidly transfer high muscle forces and possibly reduce the risk of tendon damage from mechanical fatigue.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

11

Start Page

1

End Page

10

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1664-042X

Publisher

Frontiers Research Foundation

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

Acceptance Date

2020-07-15

External Author Affiliations

University of Bologna, Italy; Griffith University; Philips Healthcare, NSW; Australian Institute of Sport

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Journal

Frontiers in Physiology

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