Human Achilles tendon: morphological and morphometric variations as a function of age

Foot Ankle. 1991 Oct;12(2):100-4. doi: 10.1177/107110079101200207.


Aging of human Achilles tendon results in changes in both cellular and fibrous components. Cells flatten and become less numerous. Their thin and long cytoplasmatic projections tend to shorten and diminish in number. Tendon fibers lose their typical undulating appearance and become quite straight. Collagen fibril diameter, small and uniform in the neonatal period, becomes large and extremely variable from adolescence onwards. Age related morphometric changes include a decrease in the average, maximum diameter and density of collagen fibrils and an increase of fibril concentration. In our opinion these morphological and morphometric variations are strictly related to functional requirements.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / anatomy & histology*
  • Achilles Tendon / chemistry
  • Achilles Tendon / cytology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Collagen / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged


  • Collagen