Effect of ultrasound therapy on the repair of Achilles tendon injuries in rats

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Feb;23(2):171-6.


The purpose was to determine the effects of selected regimens of ultrasound therapy on the rates of repair of injured Achilles tendons of rats. Specific dependent variables examined were tendon breaking strength and rate of collagen formation. A puncture technique was used to induce injuries to both Achilles tendons of rats. Continuous ultrasound was administered to the left tendon for 4 min per treatment session at an intensity of 1.5 W.cm-2. Rats were sacrificed 2, 5, 9, 15, and 21 d following injury for measurement of tendon breaking strength and 3 and 5 d postinjury for analysis of collagen synthesis. Breaking strength was defined as the minimum force required to completely rupture the tendon. Collagen synthesis was indicated by the conversion of labeled proline to hydroxyproline. The breaking strengths of the treated tendons were significantly greater than strengths of the untreated tendons 5, 9, 15, and 21 d postinjury. Collagen synthesis was increased in the treated tendons compared with the untreated tendons 5 d postinjury. The results indicate that ultrasound treatment increases the rate of repair of injured Achilles tendons of rats. The results are also consistent with an association between increased collagen synthesis and greater breaking strength during tendon repair.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / diagnostic imaging
  • Achilles Tendon / injuries*
  • Achilles Tendon / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Tendon Injuries / physiopathology
  • Tendon Injuries / therapy
  • Tensile Strength
  • Ultrasonic Therapy*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Collagen