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J Athl Train. 1998 Apr-Jun; 33(2): 130–135.
PMCID: PMC1320399

Temperature Changes in Human Patellar Tendon in Response to Therapeutic Ultrasound

Alice K. Chan, MS, ATC, J. William Myrer, PhD,* Gary J. Measom, APRN, PhD, and David O. Draper, EdD, ATC*

Abstract

Objective:

To determine the rate and magnitude of temperature change in response to ultrasound in human patellar tendon for two treatment sizes.

Design and Setting:

A thermistor was inserted into the medial aspect of each subject's right patellar tendon, and the baseline temperature was recorded. Using stratified random sampling and using a transducer head with an effective radiating area (ERA) of 4.5 cm2, we had eight subjects each undergo either the 2-or 4-ERA ultrasound treatment first. Each subject received a 3-MHz continuous ultrasound treatment at 1 W/cm2 for both the 2-and 4-ERA treatment sizes.

Subjects:

Sixteen subjects (8 males, 21.3 ± 1.9 years, and 8 females, 21.0 ± 2.8 years) participated.

Measurements:

We moved the sound head at a speed of 2 to 3 cm/sec while recording the tendon temperature every 30 seconds during, and for 20 minutes after, the 4-minute treatment. Twenty minutes after the treatment, we applied the second treatment to the other ERA treatment size.

Results:

At the end of the treatment, the mean temperature increase was significantly different (P = .006) between treatment sizes (8.3°C ± 1.7°C (2 × ERA) and 5.0°C ± 1.0°C (4 × ERA)). The rate of increase was also significantly different (P < .001). The heating rate per minute for the 2-ERA treatment was 2.1°C ± 0.4°C and 1.3°C ± 0.3°C for the 4-ERA treatment. There was a significant difference in the cooling between treatment sizes (P = .001). The rate of temperature decrease between treatment sizes was significantly different only during the first 5-minute interval post-treatment.

Conclusion:

Three-megahertz ultrasound at an intensity of 1 W/cm2 significantly increased patellar tendon temperature at both 2 and 4 × ERA, but our results confirm that the 2-ERA treatment size provided higher and longer heating than the 4-ERA treatment size.

Full text

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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