Sex comparison of hamstring structural and material properties.
ABSTRACT Musculotendinous stiffness provides an estimate of resistance to joint perturbation, thus contributing to joint stability. Females demonstrate lesser hamstring stiffness than males, potentially contributing to the sex discrepancy in anterior cruciate ligament injury risk. However, it is unclear if the sex difference in hamstring stiffness is due to differences in muscle size or to inherent/material properties of the musculotendinous unit. It was hypothesized that hamstring stiffness, stress, strain, and elastic modulus would be greater in males than in females, and that hamstring stiffness would be positively correlated with muscle size.
Stiffness was assessed in 20 males and 20 females from the damping effect imposed by the hamstrings on oscillatory knee flexion/extension following joint perturbation. Hamstring length and change in length were estimated via motion capture, and hamstring cross-sectional area was estimated using ultrasound imaging. These characteristics were used to calculate hamstring material properties (i.e., stress, strain, and elastic modulus).
Stiffness was significantly greater in males than in females (P<0.001). However, stress, strain, and elastic modulus did not differ across sex (P>0.05). Stiffness was significantly correlated with cross-sectional area (r=0.395, P=0.039) and the linear combination of cross-sectional area and resting length (R(2)=0.156, P=0.043).
Male's hamstrings possess a greater capacity for resisting changes in length imposed via joint perturbation from a structural perspective, but this property is similar across sex from a material perspective. Females demonstrate lesser hamstring stiffness compared to males in response to standardized loading conditions, indicating a compromised ability to resist changes in length associated with joint perturbation, and potentially contributing to the higher female ACL injury risk. However, the difference in hamstring stiffness is attributable in large part to differences in muscle size.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of ultrasound (US) measures of cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle thickness (MT) and echo intensity (EI) of the hamstrings, with comparisons between males and females. In 20 healthy participants (10 males, 10 females), CSA, MT and EI were measured from panoramic US scans of the hamstrings on 2 separate days. The intra-class correlation coefficients and standard errors of measurement as a percentage of the mean for CSA, MT and EI ranged from 0.715 to 0.984 and from 3.145 to 12.541% in the males and from 0.724 to 0.977 and from 4.571 to 17.890% in the females, respectively. The males had greater CSAs and MTs and lower EIs than the females (p = 0.002-0.049), and significant relationships were observed between CSA and MT (r = 0.714-0.938, p ≤ 0.001-0.023). From an overall reliability standpoint, these findings suggest that panoramic US may be a reliable technique for examining muscle size and quality of the hamstrings in both males and females. Copyright © 2015 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology 03/2015; 41(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.10.011 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Impact injuries are commonplace in sport and often lead to performance detriment and debilitation. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is prescribed as a mandatory requirement in most sports where these impacts are likely to occur, though the methods of governance and evaluation criteria often do not accurately represent sports specific injury scenarios. One of the key shortcomings of such safety test standards is the human surrogate to which the PPE is affixed; this typically embodies unrepresentative geometries, masses, stiffness and levels of constraint when compared to humans. A key aspect of any human surrogate element is the simulant material used. Most previous sports specific surrogates tend to use off-the-shelf silicone blends to represent all the soft tissue structures within the human limb segment or organ; this approach potentially neglects important human response phenomena caused by the different tissue structures. This study presents an investigation into the use of bespoke additive cure Polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) silicone blends to match the reported mechanical properties of human relaxed and contracted skeletal muscle tissues. The silicone simulants have been tested in uniaxial compression through a range of strain rates and fit with a range of constitutive hyperelastic models (Mooney Rivlin, Ogden and Neo Hookean) and a viscoelastic Prony series.Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2014.08.011 · 3.05 Impact Factor