Evaluation of Hand Tendon Movement by Using High-Frequency Ultrasound Vector Doppler Imaging

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Injuries to the hands, wrists, and fingers often involve damage to the tendons. The ability to measure tendon movements during the rehabilitation process can provide clinicians with important information in the quantification of tendon injuries. Conventionally, the tendon is considered a single spring-like structure during force transmission, and its twisted structure is neglected. Recently, clinicians believed that the twisted fiber structure (which enables tendon rotation during movement) of the tendon can provide it with a degree of elasticity and improve the efficiency of force transmission. However, observation of the hand tendon rotation in vivo by using the current imaging modalities is difficult. Methods: In this study, a 40-MHz high-frequency vector Doppler imaging (HFVDI) was used to visualize the movement of the hand tendon during muscle contraction. The performance of HFVDI was verified using a rotation phantom experiment. Two human experiments were designed in the present study: 1) participants were allowed to bend their distal and proximal interphalangeal (DIP and PIP) joints of fingers freely and 2) the PIP joint of the finger was fixed such that only the DIP could be moved. The HFVDIs of the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) and flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) tendons were obtained in the transverse and longitudinal views to observe the movements of the hand tendon during finger movements. Results: The average longitudinal displacements of the FDS and FDP were approximately 3-4 mm for free bending of the finger; however, it was reduced when only the DIP was moved. The rotational phenomenon of the FDS and FDP tendons was observed in the transverse view, which demonstrated the different rotational behaviors of the FDS and FDP fibers during muscle contraction. Conclusion: All the results validated the potential of HFVDI as a novel tool for visualizing tendon rotation and would be useful in providing quantitative information regarding tendon function to determine the rehabilitation process following injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9000585
Pages (from-to)2945-2952
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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