Patellar tendon morphology in volleyball athletes with and without patellar tendinopathy

K. Kulig, R. Landel, Y. J. Chang, N. Hannanvash, S. F. Reischl, Pengfei Song, G. R. Bashford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Appropriate management of patellar tendinopathy requires distinguishing between inflammatory and degenerative conditions, often difficult because tendon thickening can be a normal or pathological adaptation, and micromorphology is not observable on clinical imaging. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively examine patellar tendon micro- and macromorphology in volleyball athletes and relate those findings to reported symptoms. Longitudinal ultrasound images of proximal and distal patellar tendons were acquired from 84 male elite volleyball athletes (44 symptomatic, 40 asymptomatic) and 10 asymptomatic nonathlete controls. Micromorphology was determined using two-dimensional Fast Fourier Transform analysis providing a discriminating peak spatial frequency parameter (PSF). Macromorphology (patellar tendon thickness) was measured using Image J software. All athletes regardless of symptoms had thicker proximal tendons compared to nonathletes, suggesting a normal adaptation to training loads. However, symptomatic athletes demonstrated lower PSF than asymptomatic athletes and nonathletes at the proximal tendon, suggesting greater collagen disorganization, and tendon degeneration rather than inflammation. Only symptomatic athletes had thicker distal tendons than nonathletes, but there was no difference in PSF distally. Diagnostic ultrasound enhances the understanding of the micromorphology of patellar tendons, supporting the rationale for management that remodels the degenerated tendon instead of treating inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Fingerprint

Volleyball
Patellar Ligament
Tendinopathy
Athletes
Tendons
Fourier Analysis
Inflammation
Ultrasonography
Collagen
Software

Keywords

  • Anterior knee pain
  • Patellar tendinopathy
  • Tendon morphology
  • Ultrasound
  • Volleyball

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Patellar tendon morphology in volleyball athletes with and without patellar tendinopathy. / Kulig, K.; Landel, R.; Chang, Y. J.; Hannanvash, N.; Reischl, S. F.; Song, Pengfei; Bashford, G. R.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Vol. 23, No. 2, 01.04.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kulig, K. ; Landel, R. ; Chang, Y. J. ; Hannanvash, N. ; Reischl, S. F. ; Song, Pengfei ; Bashford, G. R. / Patellar tendon morphology in volleyball athletes with and without patellar tendinopathy. In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 2.
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