Mechanical properties of tendons and ligaments. II. The relationships of immobilization and exercise on tissue remodeling

Biorheology. 1982;19(3):397-408. doi: 10.3233/bir-1982-19302.


The primary goal of this investigation is to study whether soft tissue homeostatic responses secondary to decrease or increase in physiological stress levels and range of motion are a change of mechanical properties or a change of mass, or both. Two experimental animal studies are presented. One is a stress and motion deprivation study by immobilization of a rabbit knee, and the other is an increase in stress and motion study by running exercise of the miniature swine. The findings are that changes in stress and motion significantly altered the tissue properties as well as mass in the case of ligaments and digital extensor tendons. Whereas, no significant changes in properties and mass were detected for the digital flexor tendons. Possible mechanisms of the difference in tissue responses to stress and motion are discussed, and nonlinear relationships between stress and tissue remodeling are suggested.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Dogs
  • Homeostasis
  • Immobilization*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Rabbits
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Swine
  • Tendons / physiology*
  • Toes / physiology