Limited ankle dorsiflexion increases the risk for mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy in infantry recruits: A prospective cohort study

Alon Rabin, Zvi Kozol, Aharon S. Finestone

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58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a prevalent condition among runners and military personnel. Although ankle dorsiflexion (DF) range of motion (ROM) as measured with the knee bent has not been previously associated with AT, the literature concerning its role is limited. In addition, the role of lower extremity movement pattern in the pathogenesis of AT has not been studied prospectively. The purpose of this study was to further explore the role of ankle DF ROM as measured with the knee bent and that of lower extremity movement pattern as risk factors for mid-portion AT. Methods: Seventy healthy male military recruits (mean ± SD age, height and body mass of 19.6 ± 1.0 years, 176.0 ± 10.0 cm, and 71.5 ± 7.4 kg) participated in this study. Ankle DF ROM as measured with the knee bent in weight-bearing (WB) and non-weight-bearing (NWB), as well as lower extremity quality of movement during a lateral step down (LSD) test were measured at baseline. Participants were then followed for a 6-month period of army basic training with recording of the development of AT. Results: Five participants developed AT during training. Participants that developed AT had a more limited NWB ankle DF ROM (27.40 versus 21.10, p = 0.025). The quality of lower extremity movement did not differ between injured and uninjured participants (p = 0.361). Conclusions: A more limited ankle DF ROM as measured in NWB with the knee bent increases the risk of developing AT among military recruits taking part in intensive physical training.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Achilles
  • Ankle
  • Dorsiflexion
  • Risk
  • Tendinopathy

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