Exercise-induced hyperthermia as a possible mechanism for tendon degeneration

J Biomech. 1994 Jul;27(7):899-905. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(94)90262-3.


Mathematical modelling of tendon thermodynamics predicted that the temperature of the central core of the equine superficial digital flexor tendon would plateau at 11 degrees C above the tendon surface temperature during a sustained gallop. A mean temperature differential (between tendon core and surface) of 5.4 (S.E. +/- 1.0) degrees C was demonstrated in vivo in four horses. Peak intra-tendinous temperatures in the range 43-45 degrees C were recorded. Temperatures above 42.5 degrees C are known to result in fibroblast death in vitro [Hall (1988) Radiobiology for the Radiologist, 3rd Edn., pp. 294-329]. These in vivo recordings provide a possible aetiology for the degenerative changes that are observed in the central core of tendons in both equine and human athletes.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / blood supply
  • Achilles Tendon / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / physiology
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Fever / physiopathology*
  • Forecasting
  • Hoof and Claw
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Running / physiology
  • Tendons / blood supply
  • Tendons / physiopathology*
  • Thermal Conductivity
  • Thermodynamics
  • Thermometers