Achilles tendon pain intensity and level of neovascularization in athletes as determined by color Doppler ultrasound

W van Snellenberg, J P Wiley, G Brunet
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 2007, 17 (5): 530-4
The cause of pain in Achilles tendinopathy is thought to be related to the presence of neovascularization in the tendon as seen on color Doppler ultrasound. Asymptomatic pathology has been observed in patellar tendons of elite athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of Achilles tendon pain and the characteristics of Achilles tendons in a young athletic population. Sixty-four varsity athletes underwent color Doppler ultrasound imaging to determine tendon thickness, presence of degeneration and neovascularization. The presence of swelling and tenderness was determined, and Achilles tendon pain was rated on three visual analogue scales (VAS) (pain during exercise, pain at rest, pain during daily activities) as well as on the VISA-A scale. Tendon symptoms were not related to the presence of neovascularization. There was a low prevalence of Achilles tendinopathy, tenderness, and neovascularization in this population. Neovascularization was seen in both a painful and a non-painful tendon.

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