Tendinopathy alters ultrasound transmission in the patellar tendon during squatting

S. C. Wearing, S. L. Hooper, J. E. Smeathers, P. Pourcelot, N. Crevier-Denoix, T. Brauner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Measurement of loading patterns of the patellar tendon during activity is important in understanding tendon injury. We used transmission-mode ultrasonography to investigate patellar tendon loading during squatting in adults with and without tendinopathy. It was hypothesized that axial ultrasonic velocity, a surrogate measure of the elastic modulus of tendon, would be lower in tendinopathy. Ultrasound velocity was measured in both patellar tendons of adults with unilateral patellar tendinopathy (n = 9) and in healthy controls (n = 16) during a bilateral squat maneuver. Sagittal knee movement was measured simultaneously with an electrogoniometer. Statistical comparisons between healthy and injured tendons were made using two-way mixed-design ANOVAs. Axial ultrasound velocity in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patellar tendons in tendinopathy was approximately 15% higher than in healthy tendons at the commencement (F1,23 = 5.2, P < 0.05) and completion (F1,23 = 4.5, P < 0.05) of the squat. While peak velocity was ≈5% higher during both flexion (F1,23 = 5.4, P < 0.05) and extension (F1,23 = 5.3, P < 0.05) phases, there was no significant between-group difference at the midpoint of the movement. There were no significant differences in the rate and magnitude of knee movement between groups. Although further research is required, these findings suggest enhanced baseline muscle activity in patellar tendinopathy and highlight fresh avenues for its clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1415-1422
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Soft tissue
  • acoustic propagation
  • injury
  • quantitative ultrasound
  • speed of sound
  • tendon


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