Int J Sports Med
DOI: 10.1055/a-2018-2781
Orthopedics & Biomechanics

Fatigue-Induced Alterations of the Patellar Tendon in Elite Sprint Track Cyclists

1   Department of Paralympic Sport, Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wrocław, Poland
Kamil Michalik
2   Department of Human Motor Skills, Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wrocław, Poland
Jolanta Rajca
3   -, Galen Orthopedic Center, Bieruń, Poland
Krzysztof Ficek
4   Department of Physiotherapy, Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education In Katowice, Katowice, Poland (Ringgold ID: RIN69719)
3   -, Galen Orthopedic Center, Bieruń, Poland
Cesar Fernández-de-las-Peñas
5   Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Spain (Ringgold ID: RIN16776)
6   Cátedra Institucional En Docencia, Clínica E Investigación En Fisioterapia: Terapia Manual, Punción Seca Y Ejercicio Terapéutico, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Spain (Ringgold ID: RIN16776)
Adam Kawczynski
7   Department of Biomechanics and Sport Engineering, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland (Ringgold ID: RIN74802)
Pascal Madeleine
8   Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark (Ringgold ID: RIN1004)
› Author Affiliations

The study aims to investigate morphological and mechanical properties and echogenicity of the patellar tendon (PT) after acute fatigue-induced alterations in sprint track cyclists. Fourteen elite track cyclists participated in this study. The exercise protocol consisted of three (on a distance of 62.5 m), one (125 m and 250 m) maximal start accelerations, and sprints from the standing start. Immediately after testing all measurements, PT stiffness and thickness were set at 5-10-15-20 mm distal from the apex of the patella and 5-10 mm proximal to the tibial tuberosity. CSA was set at proximal, middle, and distal, while echogenicity was at proximal and distal points. The results showed significant increases in PT stiffness at all reference points after start acceleration (p<0.001). PT thickness showed similar results as for stiffness, however except for location placed at TT-5 (p<0.001). CSA increased significantly in proximal, middle, and distal regions (p<0.001), while echogenicity of tendon increased in proximal and distal regions (p<0.001) after start acceleration. Regional-dependent alterations of PT thickness and stiffness may be related to anatomical and physiological mechanisms due to acute isometric contraction in the initial phase of standing start. Tendon echogenicity might be also useful in monitoring tendon mechanical properties and defining acute fatigue-induced changes.

Publication History

Received: 14 September 2022

Accepted after revision: 23 January 2023

Accepted Manuscript online:
23 January 2023

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