Passive mechanical properties of the gastrocnemius after spinal cord injury

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Muscle and Nerve, 2012, 46 (2), pp. 237 - 245
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Diong Mm Nerve (2012) Passive mech properties of gastrocs in SCI.pdfPublished Version1.26 MB
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Introduction: In this study we compared passive mechanical properties of gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units, muscle fascicles, and tendons in control subjects and people with ankle contractures after spinal cord injury. Methods:: Passive gastrocnemius length-tension curves were derived from passive ankle torque-angle data obtained from 20 spinal cord injured subjects with ankle contractures and 30 control subjects. Ultrasound images of muscle fascicles were used to partition length-tension curves into fascicular and tendinous components. Results:: Spinal cord injured subjects had stiffer gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units (stiffness index: 74.8 ± 27.0 m -1) than control subjects (54.4 ± 17.7 m -1) (P = 0.004). Muscle-tendon slack lengths, as well as slack lengths and changes in length of fascicles and tendons, were similar in the two groups. Conclusions:: People with ankle contractures after spinal cord injury have stiff gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units. It is not clear whether this reflects changes in properties of muscle fascicles or tendons. copy; 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..
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