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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825bb47f
Technical Report

Measuring Achilles Tendon Mechanical Properties: A Reliable, Noninvasive Method

Joseph, Michael F.1,2,3; Lillie, Kurtis R.2,3; Bergeron, Daniel J.2,3; Denegar, Craig R.1,2,3

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Abstract: Joseph, MF, Lillie, KR, Bergeron, DJ, and Denegar, CR. Measuring Achilles tendon mechanical properties: A reliable, noninvasive method. J Strength Cond Res 26(8): 2017–2020, 2012. The purpose of this technical report is to describe a cost-effective and highly reliable methodology to measure mechanical and material properties of the Achilles tendon. Subjects are positioned on an isokinetic dynamometer time synchronized to a diagnostic ultrasound device. A tendon fascicle distal to the soleus is visualized during a ramped isometric maximal plantarflexion contraction. Excursion of the fascicle and tendon torque output yield a force-elongation curve in which mechanical characteristics and material properties are derived. Excellent intrasession and intersession reliabilities were observed for both the dynamometer (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] 0.99, 0.95) and excursion (ICC 0.99, 0.93) measures. Practical applications for this methodology include examination of training regimes for optimal tendon adaptation and rehabilitation in the presence of tendinopathy.

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association



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