IN VIVO STIFFNESS EVALUATION OF HUMAN TENDONS

  • Filipe Conceicao
  • Filipa Sousa
  • Pedro Goncalves
  • Joao M. Carvalho
  • J. Paulo Vilas-Boas
Keywords: stiffness, tendons, aponeurosis, muscle, ultrasonography

Abstract

The behaviour of tendons was largely studied in vitro conditions, both in human and animal tissues (Abrahams, 1967; Benedict et a/., 1968; Woo et al. 1981), but information available in the literature about human tendons in vivo is scarce. Meanwhile, an advance in real-time ultrasonography enables the non-invasive determination of the displacement of the fascicles during muscle contraction, which made possible the study of deformation of the aponeurosis and the tendon (Fukashiro et al. 1995). Such techniques were used in the past for the study of vertical jumps. For instance, Kubo et al. (1999) showed that tendons have a parabolic like force-length relationship at low stress, and an almost linear relation at higher loads. To our knowledge, however, it was never used for the analysis of long jumpers.