Achilles tendinopathy is a highly prevalent sports injury. Animal studies show a growth response in tendons in response to loading in the immature phase but not after puberty maturation. The aim of this investigation was to examine the structural and material properties in long distance runners who were either physically active (HAY) or inactive (LAY) in young age. Twelve men in HAY group and eight men in LAY group participated. Structural, functional, and biochemical properties of Achilles tendon were estimated from magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound video recordings, mechanical tests, and tendon biopsies, respectively. There was no difference between the groups with respect to tendon cross-sectional area or tendon free length. There was no difference between the groups with respect to maximal force or mechanical properties. The collagen content, enzymatic and nonenzymatic cross-link density did not differ between the groups, nor did collagen fibril density, diameter, and area. There was a correlation between age and pentosidine/collagen within the groups [(HAY: P < 0.05 and r(2) = 0.47) and (LAY: P < 0.05 and r(2) = 0.52)]. The data suggest that high or low activity during youth did not appreciably influence the mechanical, structural, or biochemical properties of the Achilles tendon in adult long distance runners.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 2015, Vol 25, Issue 1, p. 25-31
Achilles Tendon; Adult; Biopsy; Case-Control Studies; Collagen; Electromyography; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Motor Activity; Organ Size; Reticulin; Risk Factors; Sedentary Lifestyle; Tendinopathy; Journal Article