Load-strain characteristics of tendinous tissues (Achilles tendon and aponeurosis) were determined in vivo for human medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle. Seven male subjects exerted isometric plantar flexion torque while the elongation of tendinous tissues of MG was determined from the tendinous movements by using ultrasonography. The maximal strain of the Achilles tendon and aponeurosis, estimated separately from the elongation data, was 5.1 ± 1.1 and 5.9 ± 1.6%, respectively. There was no significant difference in strain between the Achilles tendon and aponeurosis. In addition, no significant difference in strain was observed between the proximal and distal regions of the aponeurosis. The results indicate that tendinous tissues of the MG are homogenously stretched along their lengths by muscle contraction, which has functional implications for the operation of the human MG muscle-tendon unit in vivo.
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