Evaluation of elastic properties of Achilles tendon as a factor of apophysitis in elementary school soccer club members

Yosuke Egawa, Shingo Nakai, Mari Ishikawa, Suguru Torii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well known that extreme repetitive stress on the apophysis without considering the physical characteristics of children induces a growth disorder of the growing skeleton. However, only a few studies have evaluated the indexes of the muscle-tendon complex as a risk factor of apophysitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the elastic properties of the Achilles tendon, physical characteristics, muscle tightness (MT) and general joint laxity score (GLP), and tenderness from typical apophysitis (calcaneal tubercle, tibial tuberosity and iliac spine) in kindergarten and elementary school students. Body and lower leg size, and MT of the calf muscle increased ; while GLP decreased significantly with age. The Elastic index of the Achilles tendon and its standard deviations were greater among 5th and 6th graders than among 3rd and 4th graders. Point tenderness was more frequent in older age groups (4th-6 th graders) than in younger age groups (kindergartren - 3 rd graders) and was greatest in 4th graders. When subjects were categorized into groups with and without point tenderness, no significant differences were found between GLP, muscle tightness of gastrocnemius, quadriceps and iliopsoas. However subjects who showed point tenderness had a higher Elastic index (p = 0.07). Considering the pathomechanics of apophysitis, repetitive traction of the apophysis by a stiffer muscle-tendon unit lead to injury of the apophysis and growth plate. Tendon properties appear to be more sensitive to the pathomechanics of apophysitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
Journaljapanese journal of physical fitness and sports medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Apophysitis
  • Elastic properties of Achilles tendon
  • Muscle tightness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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