Achilles tendon (AT) mechanical properties can be estimated using an inverse dynamic approach, taking into account the tendon internal moment arm (IMA) and its kinematic behavior. Although AT presents a curvilinear line of action, a straight-line function to estimate IMA and AT length is often utilized in the literature. In this study, we combined kinetic, kinematic and ultrasound data to understand the impact of two different approaches (straight-line vs. curvilinear) in determining AT mechanical properties in vivo (during walking and running at the self-selected speed). AT force and power were calculated based on data of AT IMA and AT length derived by both respective methods. All investigated parameters were significantly affected by the method utilized (paired t-test; p < 0.05): when using the curvilinear method IMA was about 5% lower and AT length about 1.2% higher, whereas peak and mean values of AT force and power were 5% higher when compared to the straight-line method (both in walking and running). Statistic-parametric mapping (SMP) analysis revealed significant differences in IMA during the early and the late stance phase of walking and during the late stance phase of running (p < 0.01); SPM revealed significant differences also in AT length during the entire stance phase in both locomotion modes (p < 0.01). These results confirm and extend previous findings to human locomotion: neglecting the AT curvature might be a source of error, resulting in underestimates not only of internal moment arm and tendon length, but also of tendon force and power.

Achilles tendon mechanical properties during walking and running are underestimated when its curvature is not accounted for

Zamparo, Paola
;
Nardello, Francesca;Monte, Andrea
2022

Abstract

Achilles tendon (AT) mechanical properties can be estimated using an inverse dynamic approach, taking into account the tendon internal moment arm (IMA) and its kinematic behavior. Although AT presents a curvilinear line of action, a straight-line function to estimate IMA and AT length is often utilized in the literature. In this study, we combined kinetic, kinematic and ultrasound data to understand the impact of two different approaches (straight-line vs. curvilinear) in determining AT mechanical properties in vivo (during walking and running at the self-selected speed). AT force and power were calculated based on data of AT IMA and AT length derived by both respective methods. All investigated parameters were significantly affected by the method utilized (paired t-test; p < 0.05): when using the curvilinear method IMA was about 5% lower and AT length about 1.2% higher, whereas peak and mean values of AT force and power were 5% higher when compared to the straight-line method (both in walking and running). Statistic-parametric mapping (SMP) analysis revealed significant differences in IMA during the early and the late stance phase of walking and during the late stance phase of running (p < 0.01); SPM revealed significant differences also in AT length during the entire stance phase in both locomotion modes (p < 0.01). These results confirm and extend previous findings to human locomotion: neglecting the AT curvature might be a source of error, resulting in underestimates not only of internal moment arm and tendon length, but also of tendon force and power.
ankle range of motion
mechanical power
running
tendon force
walking
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1062838
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