The purposes of this study were (1) determine if youth peak Achilles tendon (AT) strain, peak AT stress, and AT stiffness, measured during an isometric plantar flexion, differed after six months (mos) of growth, and (2) determine if sex, physical activity level (Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ-C)), and/or growth rate (GR) were related to these properties. AT stress, strain, and stiffness were quantified in 20 boys (13.47±0.81 years) and 22 girls (11.18±0.82 years) at 2 times (0 and 6 mos). GR (change in height in 6 mos) was not significantly different between boys and girls (3.5±1.4 and 3.4±1.1cm/6 mos respectively). Peak AT strain and stiffness (mean 3.8±0.4% and 128.9±153.6N/mm, respectively) did not differ between testing sessions or sex. Peak AT stress (22.1±2.4 and 24.0±2.1MPa at 0 and 6 mos, respectively) did not differ between sex and increased significantly at 6 mos due to a significant decrease in AT cross-sectional area (40.6±1.3 and 38.1±1.6mm2 at 0 and 6 mos, respectively) with no significant difference in peak AT force (882.3±93.9 and 900.3± 65.5N at 0 and 6 mos, respectively). Peak AT stress was significantly greater in subjects with greater PAQ-C scores (9.1% increase with 1 unit increase in PAQ-C score) and smaller in subjects with faster GRs (13.8% decrease with 1cm/6 mos increase in GR). These results indicate that of the AT mechanical properties quantified, none differed between sex, and only peak AT stress significantly differed after 6 months and was related to GR and physical activity.
- Mechanical properties
- Physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering