Ultrasound-Based Tendon Micromorphology Predicts Mechanical Characteristics of Degenerated Tendons

Kornelia Kulig, Yu Jen Chang, Slawomir Winiarski, Gregory R. Bashford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between tendon micro-morphology quantified from a sonogram and tendon mechanical characteristics measured in vivo. Nineteen adults (nine with unilateral Achilles tendinosis) participated. A commercial ultrasound scanner was used to capture longitudinal B-mode ultrasound images from the mid-portion of bilateral Achilles tendons and a custom image analysis program was used to analyze the spatial frequency content of manually defined regions of interest; in particular, the average peak spatial frequency of the regions of interest was acquired. In addition, a dynamometer and a motion analysis system indirectly measured the tendon mechanical (stiffness) and material (elastic modulus) properties. The peak spatial frequency correlated with tendon stiffness (r = 0.74, p = 0.02) and elastic modulus (r = 0.65, p = 0.05) in degenerated tendons, but not healthy tendons. This is the first study relating the mechanical characteristics of degenerated human Achilles tendon using a non-invasive micro-morphology analysis approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-673
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Elastic modulus
  • Stiffness
  • Tendon mechanics
  • Tissue imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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