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J Biomech. 2004 Jan;37(1):135-40.

In vivo tendon force measurement of 2-week duration in sheep.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Zürich, Balgrist, Forchstr. 340, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Tendon tension in vivo may be determined indirectly by measuring intratendinous pressure, by using a buckle transducer or by measuring the tendon strain. All of these methods require appropriate calibration, which is highly dependent on various variables. To measure the tendon load in vivo during a period of 2 weeks in sheep, a measurement technique has been developed using a force sensor interposed serially between the humeral head and the tendon end. Within a supporting frame, a flexion-sensitive force transducer is subjected to three-point bending stress. The load is transmitted by sutures from the tendon end through a hole in the sensor frame, orthogonal to the force transducer. In this configuration, the sensor measures the tensile force acting on the tendon, largely independent of the loading direction. The sensor was screwed to the humeral head and connected to the tendon end which was previously released from its insertion site along with a bone chip, using sutures. Connecting wires passed subcutaneously to a skin outlet about 30 cm away from the transducer. The sensor output was linear to the measured load up to 300 N, with maximum hysteresis of 18% full scale. All sensors worked in vivo without drift over a period of up to 14 days with no change in the calibration data. Forces up to 310 N have been recorded in vivo with daily tension measurements. This study shows that serial tendon tension measurement is feasible and allows for reliable, repeatable recording of the absolute tendon tension at the expense of tendon integrity.

PMID:
14672577
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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