Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
McAuliffe S.;Tabuena A.;McCreesh K.;O¿Keeffe M.;Hurley J.;Comyns T.;Purtill H.;O¿Neill S.;O¿Sullivan K.
Journal Of Athletic Training
Altered strength profile in Achilles tendinopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Optional Fields
Assessment Strength spectrum Tendon
© by the National Athletic Trainers¿ Association, Inc Background: Persistent strength deficits secondary to Achilles tendinopathy (AT) have been postulated to account for difficulty engaging in tendon-loading movements, such as running and jumping, and may contribute to the increased risk of recurrence. To date, little consensus exists on the presence of strength deficits in AT. Consequently, researchers are uncertain about the appropriate methods of assessment that may inform rehabilitation in clinical practice. Objective: To evaluate and synthesize the literature investigating plantar-flexion (PF) strength in individuals with AT. Study Selection: Two independent reviewers searched 9 electronic databases using an agreed-upon set of key words. Data Extraction: Data were extracted from studies comparing strength measures (maximal, reactive, and explosive strength) between individuals with AT and healthy control participants or between the injured and uninjured sides of people with AT. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Case-Control Study Checklist was used to assess the risk of bias for the included studies. Data Synthesis: A total of 19 studies were eligible. Pooled meta-analyses for isokinetic dynamometry demonstrated reductions in maximal strength (concentric PF peak torque [PT] slow [Hedges g ¼ 0.52, 44% deficit], concentric PF PT fast [Hedges g ¼ 0.61, 38% deficit], and eccentric PF PT slow [Hedges g ¼ 0.26, 18% deficit]). Reactive strength, particularly during hopping, was also reduced (Hedges g range ¼ 0.32¿2.61, 16%¿35% deficit). For explosive strength, reductions in the rate of force development (Hedges g range ¼ 0.31¿1.73, 10%¿21% deficit) were observed, whereas the findings for ground reaction force varied but were not consistently altered. Conclusions: Individuals with AT demonstrated strength deficits compared with the uninjured side or with asymptomatic control participants. Deficits were reported across the strength spectrum for maximal, reactive, and explosive strength. Clinicians and researchers may need to adapt their assessment of Achilles tendon function, which may ultimately help to optimize rehabilitation outcomes.
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