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Tendon structural and mechanical properties do not differ between genders in a healthy community-dwelling elderly population.

Burgess, K.E.; Pearson, S.J.; Breen, L.; Onambélé, G.N.L.

Authors

S.J. Pearson

L. Breen

G.N.L. Onambélé



Abstract

Elderly women are reportedly at higher risk of falling than their male counterparts. Postural balance is highly associated with fall risk and is also correlated with tendon structural and mechanical properties. Gender differences in tendon properties could partly explain the discrepancy in fall risk. Thus the purpose of this study was to investigate the possible gender difference in tendon properties in the elderly. The properties of the patellar tendon of 55 elderly (men n = 27, aged 72 ± 1 years, women n = 28, aged 70 ± 1 years) participants were tested. Tendon stiffness (K), length (L), and cross-sectional area (CSA) were measured using B-mode ultrasonography, dynamometry, and electromyography during ramped isometric knee extensions. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) between men and women in tendon stiffness (elderly men 550.9 ± 29.2 vs. women 502.9 ± 44.9 Nmm-1) or in Young's modulus (elderly men 0.32 ± 0.02 vs. women 0.36 ± 0.04 GPa). This elderly group had similar tendon structural and mechanical properties. The comparable characteristics in gender-specific tendon properties in an elderly population exhibiting similar lifestyle characteristics to the current sample may not explain the reports in the literature regarding increased fall risk in elderly women relative to that seen in men of a similar age.

Citation

BURGESS, K.E., PEARSON, S.J., BREEN, L. and ONAMBÉLÉ, G.N.L. 2009. Tendon structural and mechanical properties do not differ between genders in a healthy community-dwelling elderly population. Journal of orthopaedic research [online], 27(6), pages 820-825. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.20811

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2008
Online Publication Date Dec 4, 2008
Publication Date Jun 30, 2009
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 16, 2024
Journal Journal of orthopaedic research
Print ISSN 0736-0266
Electronic ISSN 1554-527X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 6
Pages 820-825
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.20811
Keywords Aging; Gender differences; Patellar tendon; Stiffness; Young's modulus
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/2060320

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