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Physiological Tendon Thickness Adaptation in Adolescent Elite Athletes

  • Increased Achilles (AT) and Patellar tendon (PT) thickness in adolescent athletes compared to non-athletes could be shown. However, it is unclear, if changes are of pathological or physiological origin due to training. The aim of this study was to determine physiological AT and PT thickness adaptation in adolescent elite athletes compared to non-athletes, considering sex and sport. In a longitudinal study design with two measurement days (M1/M2) within an interval of 3.2 ± 0.8 years, 131 healthy adolescent elite athletes (m/f: 90/41) out of 13 different sports and 24 recreationally active controls (m/f: 6/18) were included. Both ATs and PTs were measured at standardized reference points. Athletes were divided into 4 sport categories [ball (B), combat (C), endurance (E) and explosive strength sports (S)]. Descriptive analysis (mean ± SD) and statistical testing for group differences was performed (α = 0.05). AT thickness did not differ significantly between measurement days, neither in athletes (5.6 ± 0.7 mm/5.6 ± 0.7 mm) nor inIncreased Achilles (AT) and Patellar tendon (PT) thickness in adolescent athletes compared to non-athletes could be shown. However, it is unclear, if changes are of pathological or physiological origin due to training. The aim of this study was to determine physiological AT and PT thickness adaptation in adolescent elite athletes compared to non-athletes, considering sex and sport. In a longitudinal study design with two measurement days (M1/M2) within an interval of 3.2 ± 0.8 years, 131 healthy adolescent elite athletes (m/f: 90/41) out of 13 different sports and 24 recreationally active controls (m/f: 6/18) were included. Both ATs and PTs were measured at standardized reference points. Athletes were divided into 4 sport categories [ball (B), combat (C), endurance (E) and explosive strength sports (S)]. Descriptive analysis (mean ± SD) and statistical testing for group differences was performed (α = 0.05). AT thickness did not differ significantly between measurement days, neither in athletes (5.6 ± 0.7 mm/5.6 ± 0.7 mm) nor in controls (4.8 ± 0.4 mm/4.9 ± 0.5 mm, p > 0.05). For PTs, athletes presented increased thickness at M2 (M1: 3.5 ± 0.5 mm, M2: 3.8 ± 0.5 mm, p < 0.001). In general, males had thicker ATs and PTs than females (p < 0.05). Considering sex and sports, only male athletes from B, C, and S showed significant higher PT-thickness at M2 compared to controls (p ≤ 0.01). Sport-specific adaptation regarding tendon thickness in adolescent elite athletes can be detected in PTs among male athletes participating in certain sports with high repetitive jumping and strength components. Sonographic microstructural analysis might provide an enhanced insight into tendon material properties enabling the differentiation of sex and influence of different sports.show moreshow less

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Author details:Michael CasselGND, Konstantina IntziegianniORCiDGND, Lucie Risch, Steffen MüllerGND, Tilman EngelORCiDGND, Frank MayerORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00795
ISSN:1664-042X
Pubmed ID:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=29075203
Title of parent work (English):Frontiers in physiology
Subtitle (English):A Longitudinal Study
Publisher:Frontiers
Place of publishing:Lausanne
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2017/10/12
Completion year:2017
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Release date:2017/11/17
Tag:Achilles and patellar tendon; non-athletes; sonography; training adaptation; young athletes
Volume:8
First page:1
Last Page:8
Funding institution:Universität Potsdam, Publikationsfonds
Funding number:PA 2017_58
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften
DDC classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Peer review:Referiert
Grantor:Publikationsfonds der Universität Potsdam
Publishing method:Open Access
License (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
External remark:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 355