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The role of the vascular and structural response to activity in the development of Achilles tendinopathy : a prospective study

Evi Wezenbeek (UGent) , Tine Willems (UGent) , Nele Mahieu (UGent) , Martine De Muynck (UGent) , Luc Vanden Bossche (UGent) , Adelheid Steyaert (UGent) , Dirk De Clercq (UGent) and Erik Witvrouw (UGent)
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Abstract
Background: Several risk factors have been suggested in the development of Achilles tendinopathy, but large-scale prospective studies are limited. Purpose: To investigate the role of the vascular response to activity of the Achilles tendon, tendon thickness, ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC) of tendon structure, and foot posture as possible risk factors in the development of Achilles tendinopathy. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2. Methods: The study began with 351 first-year students at Ghent University. After 51 students were excluded, 300 were tested in the academic years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and were followed prospectively for 2 consecutive years by use of a multilevel registration method. Of those, 250 students were included in the statistical analysis. At baseline, foot posture index and UTC were investigated bilaterally. Blood flow and tendon thickness were measured before and after a running activity. Cox regression analyses were performed to identify significant contributors to the development of Achilles tendinopathy. Results: During the 2-year follow-up, 27 of the included 250 participants developed Achilles tendinopathy (11%). Significant predictive effects were found for female sex and blood flow response after running (P = .022 and P = .019, respectively). The risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy increased if the blood flow increase after running was reduced, regardless of sex, foot pronation, and timing of flow measurements. The model had a predictive accuracy of 81.5% regarding the development of Achilles tendinopathy, with a specificity of 85.0% and a sensitivity of 50.0%. Conclusion: This prospective study identified both female sex and the diminished blood flow response after running as significant risk factors for the development of Achilles tendinopathy. UTC of tendon structure, Achilles tendon thickness, and foot posture did not significantly contribute to the prediction of Achilles tendinopathy. A general evaluation of tendon structure by UTC, measurement of tendon thickness, or determination of the foot posture index will not allow clinicians to identify patients at risk for developing Achilles tendinopathy. Furthermore, it may be possible to improve blood flow after activity by using noninvasive techniques (such as prostaglandins, compression stockings, heat, massage, and vibration techniques). These techniques may be useful in the prevention and management of Achilles tendinopathy, but further research is needed.
Keywords
prospective study, risk factors, Achilles tendinopathy, blood flow, thickness, foot posture, ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC), running, FOOT POSTURE INDEX, BLOOD-FLOW, TISSUE CHARACTERIZATION, TENDON STRUCTURE, PROGNOSTIC VALUE, RISK-FACTORS, EXERCISE, RUNNERS, INJURY, PLAYERS

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MLA
Wezenbeek, Evi et al. “The Role of the Vascular and Structural Response to Activity in the Development of Achilles Tendinopathy : a Prospective Study.” AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE 46.4 (2018): 947–954. Print.
APA
Wezenbeek, E., Willems, T., Mahieu, N., De Muynck, M., Vanden Bossche, L., Steyaert, A., De Clercq, D., et al. (2018). The role of the vascular and structural response to activity in the development of Achilles tendinopathy : a prospective study. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 46(4), 947–954.
Chicago author-date
Wezenbeek, Evi, Tine Willems, Nele Mahieu, Martine De Muynck, Luc Vanden Bossche, Adelheid Steyaert, Dirk De Clercq, and Erik Witvrouw. 2018. “The Role of the Vascular and Structural Response to Activity in the Development of Achilles Tendinopathy : a Prospective Study.” American Journal of Sports Medicine 46 (4): 947–954.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Wezenbeek, Evi, Tine Willems, Nele Mahieu, Martine De Muynck, Luc Vanden Bossche, Adelheid Steyaert, Dirk De Clercq, and Erik Witvrouw. 2018. “The Role of the Vascular and Structural Response to Activity in the Development of Achilles Tendinopathy : a Prospective Study.” American Journal of Sports Medicine 46 (4): 947–954.
Vancouver
1.
Wezenbeek E, Willems T, Mahieu N, De Muynck M, Vanden Bossche L, Steyaert A, et al. The role of the vascular and structural response to activity in the development of Achilles tendinopathy : a prospective study. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE. 2018;46(4):947–54.
IEEE
[1]
E. Wezenbeek et al., “The role of the vascular and structural response to activity in the development of Achilles tendinopathy : a prospective study,” AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 947–954, 2018.
@article{8546936,
  abstract     = {Background: Several risk factors have been suggested in the development of Achilles tendinopathy, but large-scale prospective studies are limited. 
Purpose: To investigate the role of the vascular response to activity of the Achilles tendon, tendon thickness, ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC) of tendon structure, and foot posture as possible risk factors in the development of Achilles tendinopathy. 
Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2. 
Methods: The study began with 351 first-year students at Ghent University. After 51 students were excluded, 300 were tested in the academic years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and were followed prospectively for 2 consecutive years by use of a multilevel registration method. Of those, 250 students were included in the statistical analysis. At baseline, foot posture index and UTC were investigated bilaterally. Blood flow and tendon thickness were measured before and after a running activity. Cox regression analyses were performed to identify significant contributors to the development of Achilles tendinopathy. 
Results: During the 2-year follow-up, 27 of the included 250 participants developed Achilles tendinopathy (11%). Significant predictive effects were found for female sex and blood flow response after running (P = .022 and P = .019, respectively). The risk of developing Achilles tendinopathy increased if the blood flow increase after running was reduced, regardless of sex, foot pronation, and timing of flow measurements. The model had a predictive accuracy of 81.5% regarding the development of Achilles tendinopathy, with a specificity of 85.0% and a sensitivity of 50.0%. 
Conclusion: This prospective study identified both female sex and the diminished blood flow response after running as significant risk factors for the development of Achilles tendinopathy. UTC of tendon structure, Achilles tendon thickness, and foot posture did not significantly contribute to the prediction of Achilles tendinopathy. A general evaluation of tendon structure by UTC, measurement of tendon thickness, or determination of the foot posture index will not allow clinicians to identify patients at risk for developing Achilles tendinopathy. Furthermore, it may be possible to improve blood flow after activity by using noninvasive techniques (such as prostaglandins, compression stockings, heat, massage, and vibration techniques). These techniques may be useful in the prevention and management of Achilles tendinopathy, but further research is needed.},
  author       = {Wezenbeek, Evi and Willems, Tine and Mahieu, Nele and De Muynck, Martine and Vanden Bossche, Luc and Steyaert, Adelheid and De Clercq, Dirk and Witvrouw, Erik},
  issn         = {0363-5465},
  journal      = {AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE},
  keywords     = {prospective study,risk factors,Achilles tendinopathy,blood flow,thickness,foot posture,ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC),running,FOOT POSTURE INDEX,BLOOD-FLOW,TISSUE CHARACTERIZATION,TENDON STRUCTURE,PROGNOSTIC VALUE,RISK-FACTORS,EXERCISE,RUNNERS,INJURY,PLAYERS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {947--954},
  title        = {The role of the vascular and structural response to activity in the development of Achilles tendinopathy : a prospective study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0363546517750854},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2018},
}

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