Elastography control of the evolution of the structure and function of the patellar tendon after a muscle eccentric strength program: a randomized clinical trial
Objectives: To asses the effect of an eccentric muscular program on the morphology of the healthy patellar tendon in professional basketball players, and to ascertain if the elastography allows to detect changes in the tendon after performing the eccentric muscular program. Material and method: This study was a randomized double-blind controlled trial, executed with 12 healthy male basketball players (mean of 27.08 years) divided in two groups: intervention group and control group, who received a pre-test, a 4-months evaluation test and a post-test evaluation. The intervention group performed, in addition to the training of the control group, a training program with eccentric exercise that lasted 6 months. A score was established according to the colour observed in proximal and distal tendon localization, using Tsukuba Elasticity Score, being 1 for blue and soft tissue and 5 for hard tissue. Results: At the beginning, the groups were homogeneous. There are significant differences between the initial and the final evaluation in the distal left side measure (p =.010) in which the control group do not change. However the intervention group increase the punctuation. In the rest of the measures, although no statistically significant differences were found, it should be noted that in all of them there is a higher percentage of players that increase the value of the tendon measurement with eccentric exercise with respect to control group. Conclusions: adding a program of eccentric exercise to regular training results in a change in the tendon stiffness in the patellar tendon in healthy basketball players.
Keywords: ultrasonography, tendinopathy, patellar ligament, exercise.