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Friction as a potential cause of paratenonitis [Abstract]

Landham, Priyan Rajakone, Nokes, Leonard Derek Martin ORCID:, Byrne, Carlton Barrie Baylis, Dowson, D., Dent, Claire and Theobald, Peter ORCID: 2010. Friction as a potential cause of paratenonitis [Abstract]. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 92-B (I 59)

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Paratenonitis describes inflammation of the paratenon and commonly presents as an overuse injury. The paratenon is the connective tissue sheath that surrounds tendons - including tendo Achilles, and serves to minimise friction with the outer layer of the tendon, the epitenon. Whilst this conjunction allows the tendon to glide smoothly on muscular contraction, the presentation of paratenonitis typically follows periods of frequent, repetitive musculoskeletal movements; hence, paratenonitis commonly afflicts the elite and, albeit to a lesser extent, amateur athlete. The extent to which friction at the epitenon-paratenon juncture contributes to this tendinopathy remains unclear, and this study is therefore concerned with the coefficient of friction and the lubrication regime. By using a specially designed and validated apparatus, the in vivo paratenon-epitenon conjunction was approximated using bovine flexor tendon paratenon and a glass disc; this is being an equivalent experimental set-up to that used in other studies exploring soft tissue contacts. Bovine synovial fluid was used to lubricate the conjunction at 37 deg C, and the frictional characteristics were analysed over a range of sliding speeds and loads. The coefficient of friction was found to generally lie between 0.1 – 0.01. This range suggests that a system of mixed lubrication applies - where the synovial fluid is causing partial separation of the two surfaces. However, when the data is plotted in the form of a Stribeck curve, the trend suggests that boundary lubrication prevails - where lubrication is determined by surface-bound proteins. The coefficient of friction at the epitenon-paratenon interface appears to be approximately one order of magnitude greater than that typically reported within the healthy synovial joint. Additionally, the synovial joint is thought to exhibit some fluid film lubrication (i.e. total surface separation), whereas the epitenon-paratenon lubrication regime appears to vary only between the inferior mixed and boundary systems - depending on the specific biomechanical conditions. This data would suggest that the coefficient of friction at the epitenon-paratenon interface is relatively high and thus is potentially significant in the incidence of paratenonitis. Such a hypothesis could be of particular interest to sports-medicine and orthopaedic specialists.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: R Medicine > RD Surgery
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Additional Information: Orthopaedic Proceedings. Published abstracts from leading international meetings. A supplement of JBJS (Br).
Publisher: British Editiorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery
ISSN: 0301-620X
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 14:02

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