Key component in tendon injury discovered

Aug 08, 2012
Key component in tendon injury discovered
The superficial flexor tendon stretches twice as much as a human achilles tendon

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found a mechanism in the leg that is crucial in preventing tendon injury in horses and human athletes.

The research, published in the Royal Society journal, Interface, shows that a component of , known as the interfascicular matrix (IFM) is essential for their function.

in horses is as high as 43% in the 16,000 horses in racing training each year. It is just as common in humans and can herald the end of an athlete’s career.

Researchers at Liverpool and Queen Mary University, London, found that the IFM, previously thought to be unimportant in tendon function was essential to the extension of the superficial digital flexor tendon in horses.  They found that tendons with a stiffer IFM were not able to stretch as far as they normally would.

Future research may focus on potential diagnostic tests to see whether some horses and humans are more susceptible to tendon injury than others.

Explore further: Sexual selection isn't the last word on bird plumage, study shows

More information: rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

High-strain tendons repair less frequently

May 25, 2010

In a discovery that seems counterintuitive, a study appearing in the May 21st Journal of Biological Chemistry has found that tendons in high-stress and strain areas, like the Achilles tendon, actually repair themselves less f ...

Scientists reveal new insights into tendon injury

Mar 01, 2011

Scientists have discovered how tendons – the fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone – become damaged through injury or the ageing process in what could lead to new treatments for people with tendon problems.

Stem cell research to benefit horse owners and trainers

Oct 21, 2008

In a potential breakthrough for the performance horse industry (such as racing and polo), Melbourne scientists are aiming to harness stem cells to repair tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone damage in horses.

Galloping and breathing at high speed

Sep 25, 2008

The coordination of two systems are key for any horse to walk, trot, gallop or win a race. The first are the lower limbs, which allow the animal to move along on a "spring-like" tendon. The second is a complicated respiratory ...

Recommended for you

A peek at the secret life of pandas

Mar 27, 2015

Reclusive giant pandas fascinate the world, yet precious little is known about how they spend their time in the Chinese bamboo forests. Until now.

Flocks of starlings ride the wave to escape

Mar 26, 2015

Why does it seem as if a dark band ripples through a flock of European starlings that are steering clear of a falcon or a hawk? It all lies in the birds' ability to quickly and repeatedly dip to one side to avoid being attacked. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.