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: Joint contractures alter the mechanical properties of articular and muscular structures. Reversibility of a contracture depends on the restoration of the elasticity of both structures. We determined the differential contribution of articular and muscular structures to knee flexion contractures during spontaneous recovery. 250 rats divided in 24 groups had 1 knee joint surgically fixed in flexion for 6 different durations, from 1 to 32 weeks, creating joint contractures of various severities. After the fixation was removed, the animals were left to spontaneously recover for 1 to 48 weeks. After the recovery periods, animals were killed and we measured the knee extension before and after division of the transarticular posterior muscles using a motorized arthrometer. No articular limitation had developed in contracture of recent onset (≤2 weeks of fixation; P >.05); muscular limitations were responsible for the majority of the contracture (34±8° and 38±6°, respectively; both P <.05). Recovery for 1 and 8 weeks reversed the muscular limitation of contractures of recent onset (1 and 2 weeks of fixation; respectively). Long-lasting contractures (≥4 weeks of fixation) presented articular limitations, irreversible in all 12 durations of recovery compared to controls (all 12 P <.05). Knee flexion contractures of recent onset were primarily due to muscular structures, and they were reversible during spontaneous recovery. Long-lasting contractures were primarily due to articular structures and were irreversible. Comprehensive temporal and quantitative data on the differential reversibility of mechanically significant alterations in articular and muscular structures represent novel evidence on which to base clinical practice.Journal of Applied Physiology 08/2014; 117(7). DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.00409.2014 · 3.43 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