Non-uniform displacement within ruptured Achilles tendon during isometric contraction
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CitationM Khair, Ra'ad. Stenroth, Lauri. Péter, Annamária. Cronin, Neil J. Reito, Aleksi. Paloneva, Juha. Finni, Taija. (2021). Non-uniform displacement within ruptured Achilles tendon during isometric contraction. Scandinavian journal of medicine and science in sports, [First published: 19 January 2021], 10.1111/sms.13925.
The purpose of this study was investigate tendon displacement patterns in non‐surgically treated patients 14 months after acute Achilles tendon rupture (ATR) and to classify patients into groups based on their Achilles tendon (AT) displacement patterns. Twenty patients were tested. Sagittal images of AT were acquired using B‐mode ultrasonography during ramp contractions at a torque level corresponding to 30% of the maximal isometric plantarflexion torque of the uninjured limb. A speckle tracking algorithm was used to track proximal‐distal movement of the tendon tissue at 6 antero‐posterior locations. Two‐way repeated measures ANOVA for peak tendon displacement was performed. K‐means clustering was used to classify patients according to AT displacement patterns. The difference in peak relative displacement across locations was larger in the uninjured (1.29 ± 0.87 mm) than the injured limb (0.69 ± 0.68 mm), with a mean difference (95% CI) of 0.60 mm (0.14‐1.05 mm, P < .001) between limbs. For the uninjured limb, cluster analysis formed 3 groups, while 2 groups were formed for the injured limb. The three distinct patterns of AT displacement during isometric plantarflexion in the uninjured limb may arise from subject‐specific anatomical variations of AT sub‐tendons, while the two patterns in the injured limb may reflect differential recovery after ATR with non‐surgical treatment. Subject‐specific tendon characteristics are a vital determinant of stress distribution across the tendon. Changes in stress distribution may lead to variation in the location and magnitude of peak displacement within the free AT. Quantifying internal tendon displacement patterns after ATR provides new insights into AT recovery.