Objective: This study was designed with an aim to measure Achilles tendons length, thickness, and cross sectional area in asymptomatic adult Saudi participants to investigate possible changes of these measurements with different ages and body height.
Methods: Prospective cohort study was performed between January 2014 and March 2015. Two Hundred asymptomatic (175, 87.5%) males and (25, 12.5%) females between the ages of 14 and 65 years; mean age of 25 ± 1.5 years were scanned at two Radiology departments. Ultrasound (US) scans for Achilles tendons was performed using a Hitachi (HI Vision Avius) US machine. The statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the results.
Results: No significant difference in the length, cross-sectional area, and thickness of Achilles tendons between participants of different ages; however, the cross-sectional area of Achilles tendons of the older participants (≥ 47 years) was higher than that of the participants of younger age groups. Moreover, there was no correlation between the length, cross sectional-area, and thickness of the Achilles tendons and body height; although participants of ≥ 153 cm present an increased in the Achilles tendons cross-sectional area.
Conclusion: US is a useful imaging tool in the assessment of Achilles tendons. Normal variations of the tendons morphological characteristics should be considered in the clinical diagnosis. Additional study correlates the Achilles tendons length, thickness, and cross sectional area of ethnicity of participants in Saudi Arabia is suggested.
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