Measuring age-related changes in the achilles tendon
The findings of this study demonstrate an age-related increase in achilles tendon (AT) size that was only detected with the cross-sectional area (CSA) assessments. The reliability between CSA and thickness measurements were relatively similar, however, the reliability of the CSA assessment was slightly higher than the thickness measures, which are in line with the results of previous research.
All of the MSK ultrasound assessments were performed with a portable B-mode imaging device and a multi-frequency linear-array probe. Care was taken to maintain minimal pressure with the probe against the skin to avoid any tendon compression. AT-CSA was determined by a transverse scan at the level of the medial malleolus with the probe placed perpendicular to the AT. A standoff pad was used along with transmission gel.
AT-thickness was determined by a panoramic scan with the probe oriented longitudinally moving continuously along the AT from the calcaneal insertion to the musculotendinous junction of the gastrocnemius. Care was taken to maintain consistent speed of movement and pressure.
[AT ultrasound scans supply information for the ICF-domain of “bodyfunctions and anatomical structures”. Changes in AT tissues are relevant for clinical reasoning and treatment evaluation]
Video: Achilles tendon calcification on ultrasound
> From: Tweedell et al., Exp Gerontol 76 (2016) 68-71. All rights reserved to Elsevier Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.