Biomechanical Studies of the Rabbit Patellar Tendon After Removal of Its One-Fourth or a Half

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Yamamoto

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

K. Hayashi

Division of Mechanical Science, Department of Systems and Human Science, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan

F. Hayashi

Osaka Research Laboratories, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Osaka 554-0024, Japan

K. Yasuda, K. Kaneda

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan

J Biomech Eng 121(3), 323-329 (Jun 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2798328 History: Received June 20, 1997; Revised January 05, 1999; Online October 30, 2007


Effects of the overstressing induced by the harvest of grafts from the patellar tendon on the mechanical properties and morphometry of remaining tendon were studied using a rabbit model. The width of the patellar tendon was reduced by one-fourth or one-half equally removing the medial and lateral portions; by this surgery, the cross-sectional area was decreased by 25 or 50 percent from the original area. After all the rabbits were allowed unrestricted activities in cages for 3 to 12 weeks, their patellar tendons were harvested for mechanical and histological studies. The one-fourth removal induced no significant changes in the mechanical properties, but significantly increased the cross-sectional area. In the case of one-half removal, tensile strength and tangent modulus did not change in some tendons, although the cross-sectional area increased significantly. In the other central half tendons, mechanical strength decreased markedly, while the cross-sectional area increased; hypercellular areas and breakage of collagen bundles were observed in these tendons. These results indicate that the patellar tendon has an ability of functionally adapting to overstressing by changing the cross-sectional area, while keeping the mechanical properties unchanged, if the extent of overstressing is less than 30 percent.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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