Ultrasound Elastography as an Evaluation Tool for Achilles Tendinopathy
There is a lack of non-invasive cost-effective methods to quantify the effect of tendon injuries on their structural and mechanical properties. This study will evaluate the feasibility of using our novel ultrasound elastography technique to evaluate changes of tendon structural and mechanical properties due to tendinopathy. This technique can potentially play an important role in optimizing a therapeutic exercise program and/or other treatments for tendinopathy to achieve faster return of function, preventing long-term deficits and re-injury, and minimizing the burden and cost to the health care system.
Collaborators: Karin Gravare Silbernagel (University of Delaware)
Evaluation of the Healing of the Hamstring Tendon after it is Harvested for ACL Reconstruction
The semitendinosus/gracilis tendon (STG) autograft has been demonstrated as an effective procedure for restoring knee stability following an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture. Though the STG autograft is an effective surgical technique for return to sport, short term hamstring strength asymmetries exist compared to the contralateral side. Imaging evidence demonstrates the regrowth and reorganization of the semitendinosus tendon, though no studies have shown whether the regrowth of the tendon returns its previous functional capabilities. It is the purpose of this study to show that mechanical properties of the hamstring tendon recovers with time post ACL reconstruction with an STG tendon autograft.
Noninvasive measurement of intervertebral disc mechanics with MR Elastography
Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is characterized by a progressive cascade of changes in organization and mechanical properties of annulus fibrosus (AF), nucleus pulposus (NP) and end plates (EP). Early diagnosis of disc degeneration is critical for the success of any biological treatment strategy. Currently, diagnosis of disc degeneration using clinical MRI only detects characteristics of advanced stages of degeneration. While new MR-based techniques (such as sodium imaging, magnetization transfer, T1r and T2 maps) quantify early changes in NP composition, tissue mechanical properties may be more sensitive than MR-base composition at detecting changes in the tissue microstructure. Magnetic Resonance Elastography is an MR-based technique to measure elastic properties of soft tissues that has been successfully used for the diagnosis of deceases that involve changes in the mechanical properties. The objective of this study is to apply Magnetic Resonance Elastography to measure elastic properties of the IVD from intact disc segment units and to correlate those properties with degeneration.