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Morphological alterations in the Achilles tendon in forefoot strike pattern runners

Grant number: 16/20759-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Fábio Viadanna Serrão
Grantee:Heitor Takeu Moreira Matsuo
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In runners, around 40% of injuries are in knee and 50-60% about them correspond to Patellofemoral Pain (PFP). Some theories believe that using a forefoot strike pattern (FFS) minimizes patelofemoral pain joint's loads so this technique could be adopted in treatment and prevention of PFP in runner. Although, this strike pattern increases loads rates in Achilles tendon and this could result in tendinopathy. The presence of tendon's morphologic alterations in ultrasound analysis (tendon thickening, presence of hipoechoics regions and neovessels) of asymptomatic subjects increases the risk of tendinopathies' development (symptomatic). Thus, this present study aims to compare Achilles tendon morphology among runners using FFS and runners using a Rearfoot Strike (RFS). Initially will be recruited 10 FFS runners and 10 RFS runners. Foot strike pattern confirmation during the running will be done by a GoPro® HERO4 Black camera. To evaluated tendon thickening, echogenecity and the presence of neovessels in Achilles tendon, a image ultrasound device (Venue 40) will be utilized. The comparison between tendon thickening among the groups will be calculated by the t-Student test for independent samples (in normal distribution conditions) or by the Mann-Whitney test for independents samples (in not-normal distribution conditions) (alpha = 0,05). The presence of neovessels in Achilles tendon will be described, analyzing the presence or absence of neovessels. (AU)

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