Human ankle cartilage deformation after different in vivo impact conditions
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Recently, the general finding of increased ankle cartilage stiffness to loading has been challenged, suggesting the need for the investigation of different in vivo loading conditions. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were to determine ankle (talar) cartilage deformation after in vivo loading using 3D volume change calculation and to establish any difference in volume change between four weight-bearing exercises. The four exercises represented increasing impact (bilateral knee bends <unilateral knee bends <drop jumps) as well as two types of loading: dynamic and static loading (i.e. unilateral knee bends and unilateral static stance). Based on MRI, 3D reconstructions of talar cartilage were generated to determine 3D volumes before and after four exercises in 13 healthy subjects (bilateral and unilateral knee bends, static unilateral stance, drop jumps). Mean talar deformation (volume decrease) was 8.3% after bilateral knee bends (P = 0.001), 7.7% after unilateral knee bends (P = 0.020), 14.6% after unilateral static stance (P < 0.001), 12.5% after drop jumps (P = 0.001). Statistical analysis also revealed deformation to be significantly higher after unilateral static stance than after unilateral knee bends (P = 0.017). These results suggest that talar cartilage endures substantial deformation during in vivo loading characterized by more deformation (i.e. higher volume change) after static than after dynamic loading.
KeywordsIn vivo Exercise Ankle Cartilage
This research was partly funded by Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds (BOF, special research fund; B/08320/02), Ghent University and by Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen (FWO-Vlaanderen; Research Foundation-Flanders).
Conflicts of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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