The feasibility of dynamic musculoskeletal function analysis of the vastus lateralis in endurance runners using continuous, hands-free ultrasound

Marloes Sjoerdsma (Corresponding author), Cristina Caresio, Benjamin C.Y. Tchang, Amber Meeder, Frans N. van de Vosse, Richard G.P. Lopata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Dynamic imaging of the skeletal muscles used to be strenuous and often impossible to perform manually. Accordingly, long-term dynamic musculoskeletal imaging has not been performed. The feasibility of long-term dynamic musculoskeletal functional analysis using hands-free ultrasound will be demonstrated in ten healthy endurance runners. After every kilometer, the vastus lateralis muscle was imaged whilst running using a fixated probe connected to a smart phone. The image quality was quantified by estimation of the probe-skin contact preservation and the field-of-view stability. Moreover, the pennation angles and muscle thicknesses were computed automatically. Long-term dynamic acquisition was successful in nine out of ten runners. Probe-skin contact loss ranged between 0 and 57% of the gait cycle. The biggest change in field-of-view occurred during the first kilometer with an average decline in complex-wavelet structural similarity index of 0.21, followed by an onward total decrease of 0.09, on average. The mean pennation angle and thickness were approximately constant, with the average fluctuation being 0.94 degrees and 0.11 cm, respectively. The feasibility of long-term musculoskeletal function analysis has been demonstrated, with probe-skin contact loss the main limiting factor. Dynamic, hands-free ultrasound might enable research for a more profound insight in the prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1534
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2021

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