Document Detail

Mechanical effects of immobilization on the Achilles' tendon.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12736878     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To measure the biomechanical effects of immobilization on the Achilles' tendon. DESIGN: Experimental, controlled study. SETTING: Physiatry research laboratory. ANIMALS: Twenty adult rabbits. INTERVENTION: One hindlimb immobilized in a cast for 4 weeks (n=10) or 8 weeks (n=10). The contralateral legs (n=20) served as controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cross-sectional Achilles' tendon area, mode of failure, mean failure load, and tendon stiffness. RESULTS: The Achilles' tendon cross-sectional area did not change. Achilles' tendon-calcaneus units failed at insertion at 4 weeks and in controls. Calcaneus fracture was the most prevalent mode of failure at 8 weeks. The mean load to failure of both immobilized groups (4wk: 187.5+/-45.7N; 8wk: 162.6+/-39.3N) was significantly smaller than that of the control group (549.2+/-93.7N, both P<.005). The mean tendon stiffness of both immobilized groups (4wk: 64.6+/-24.8N/mm; 8wk: 53.9+/-19.9N/mm) was significantly lower than that of the control group (125.1+/-26.5N/mm, both P<.005). CONCLUSIONS: Immobility for up to 8 weeks caused decreased stiffness but no atrophy or rupture of the Achilles' tendon, suggesting that immobility does not constitute a risk factor for Achilles' tendon midsubstance rupture. Clinically, graded reloading is required after immobilization to restore the tendon insertion and to reverse calcaneal disuse osteoporosis.
Fujio Matsumoto; Guy Trudel; Hans K Uhthoff; David S Backman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation     Volume:  84     ISSN:  0003-9993     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch Phys Med Rehabil     Publication Date:  2003 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-05-08     Completed Date:  2003-06-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985158R     Medline TA:  Arch Phys Med Rehabil     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  662-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Bone and Joint Laboratory, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Achilles Tendon / injuries*
Calcaneus / injuries
Casts, Surgical / adverse effects
Disease Models, Animal*
Fractures, Bone / etiology,  pathology,  prevention & control
Hindlimb Suspension / adverse effects*
Osteoporosis / etiology,  pathology,  prevention & control
Range of Motion, Articular
Risk Factors
Tendon Injuries / etiology,  pathology,  prevention & control
Tensile Strength
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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