A1 Journal article (refereed)
Achilles tendon and triceps surae muscle properties in athletes (2024)

Sukanen, M., Khair, R. M., Ihalainen, J. K., Laatikainen-Raussi, I., Eon, P., Nordez, A., & Finni, T. (2024). Achilles tendon and triceps surae muscle properties in athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 124(2), 633-647. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-023-05348-4

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsSukanen, Maria; Khair, Ra’ad M.; Ihalainen, Johanna K.; Laatikainen-Raussi, Iida; Eon, Pauline; Nordez, Antoine; Finni, Taija

Journal or seriesEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology



Publication year2024

Publication date11/11/2023


Issue number2

Pages range633-647

PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media

Publication countryGermany

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/92057

Additional informationCorrection to: Achilles tendon and triceps surae muscle properties in athletes DOI: 10.1007/s00421-023-05401-2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-023-05401-2


The aim of this study was to investigate internal Achilles tendon (AT) displacement, AT shear wave velocity (SWV), and triceps surae (TS) muscle shear modulus in athletes.

Internal AT displacement was assessed using ultrasound during isometric contraction. Shear wave elastography was used to assess AT SWV (m × s–1) at rest and TS muscle shear modulus (kPa) during passive ankle dorsiflexion.

A total of 131 athletes participated in this study. Athletes who had not exercised within two days had greater AT non-uniformity and mean anterior tendon displacement, and lower SWV at the proximal AT measurement site (mean difference [95% CI]: 1.8 mm [0.6–2.9], p = 0.003; 1.6 mm [0.2–2.9], p = 0.021; – 0.9 m × s–1 [– 1.6 to – 0.2], p = 0.014, respectively). Male basketball players had a lower mean AT displacement compared to gymnasts (– 3.7 mm [– 6.9 to – 0.5], p = 0.042), with the difference localised in the anterior half of the tendon (– 5.1 mm [– 9.0 to – 1.1], p = 0.022). Male gymnasts had a smaller absolute difference in medial gastrocnemius-minus-soleus shear modulus than basketball players (59.6 kPa [29.0–90.2], p < 0.001) and track and field athletes (52.7 kPa [19.2–86.3], p = 0.004). Intraclass correlation coefficients of measurements ranged from 0.720 to 0.937 for internal AT displacement, from 0.696 to 0.936 for AT SWE, and from 0.570 to 0.890 for TS muscles.

This study provides a reliability assessment of muscle and tendon SWV. The relative differences in passive TS muscle shear modulus suggest sport-specific adaptation. Importantly, in healthy individuals, lower AT displacement after exercise may reflect the time required for tendon recovery.

Keywordstendonscalcaneal tendonmusclesathletessports injuriesrecovery (return)ultrasoundbiomechanics

Free keywordsmechanical properties; tendon non-uniformity; ultrasound speckle tracking; shear wave elastography; stiffness

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-05 at 13:26