Non-invasive Intra-tendinous Pressure Quantification

The ‘IOF ConcepTT’ project Ghentendon aims to validate a non-invasive method for intratendinous pressure quantification.

This project entails the construction of a measurement set-up where this novel method is tested for its capacity to determine intratendinous pressure in the Achilles tendon.

Results from these tests will be compared with the current golden standard for quantifying intratendinous pressure, which requires needle infiltration into the tendon.

Tendinopathy is a common tendon overuse injury in performance athletes as well as in the working population. It is characterized by pain, swelling and a reduced function of the tendon. Over the past years, increased participation in recreational sports has led to a rising incidence of tendinopathy.

Previous work of the involved researchers has shown that excessive intratendinous pressure could be important in the injury mechanism and perpetuation of Achilles tendinopathies. Obtaining quantitative information on this pressure is as such important in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of tendinopathy.

Nowadays, however, (minimally) invasive needle manometers are used for intratendinous pressure measurements, which can only be performed by trained doctors. This needle insertion causes tendon damage, is painful and only results in local point measurements. Moreover, it does not allow for dynamic measurements.

A non-invasive device which can determine pressure inside a tendon in both static and dynamic conditions will have a significant added value in different settings.

Non-invasive determination of intra-tendinous pressure:

  • gives clinicians the possibility to easily diagnose patients in an early phase of tendinopathy and helps to evaluate the effect of proposed therapy during a follow-up doctor visit
  • aids physiotherapists and patients during the rehabilitation process to finetune the intensity of the therapy
  • provides podiatrists, occupational therapists or sports coaches/trainers valuable information on preventive adjustments to avoid tendinopathies

After lab-scale validation of the proposed non-invasive measurement method, the goal is to transform the technique into a device.

The purpose is to create a tool that cannot only be used in the context of Achilles tendinopathy but also for other tendinopathies such as golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, jumper’s knee (patella tendon), etc.

Prof. Dr. ir. Geert Van Steenberge & Prof. Dr. Luc Vanden Bossche

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