Changes in tendon spatial frequency parameters with loading

Stephen J. Pearson, Aaron J. Engel, Gregory R. Bashford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To examine and compare the loading related changes in micro-morphology of the patellar tendon. Fifteen healthy young males (age 19 ± 3 yrs, body mass 83 ± 5 kg) were utilised in a within subjects matched pairs design. B mode ultrasound images were taken in the sagittal plane of the patellar tendon at rest with the knee at 90° flexion. Repeat images were taken whilst the subjects were carrying out maximal voluntary isometric contractions. Spatial frequency parameters related to the tendon morphology were determined within regions of interest (ROI) from the B mode images at rest and during isometric contractions. A number of spatial parameters were observed to be significantly different between resting and contracted images (Peak spatial frequency radius (PSFR), axis ratio, spatial Q-factor, PSFR amplitude ratio, and the sum). These spatial frequency parameters were indicative of acute alterations in the tendon micro-morphology with loading. Acute loading modifies the micro-morphology of the tendon, as observed via spatial frequency analysis. Further research is warranted to explore its utility with regard to different loading induced micro-morphological alterations, as these could give valuable insight not only to aid strengthening of this tissue but also optimization of recovery from injury and treatment of conditions such as tendinopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-140
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - May 24 2017


  • Mechanical properties
  • Micro-morphology
  • Patella tendon
  • Transverse strain
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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