Evaluate muscle tension using intramuscular pressure device in rabbit tibialis anterior model for improved tendon transfer surgery

Loribeth Q. Evertz, Liselotte F. Bulstra, Alexander Y. Shin, Kenton R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quantitative evaluation of passive tension in a muscle is important in tendon transfer surgeries, however, currently appropriate intraoperative measurement techniques are lacking. Objective: Intramuscular pressure (IMP) is explored as an application to access force. Approach: The tibialis anterior (TA) in New Zealand white rabbits (n = 9) was used to test the hypothesis of a strong correlation between the IMP, muscle force, and length. This study also helped to develop intraoperative techniques for future human studies evaluating various insertion techniques (parallel versus perpendicular). Main results: The Pearson correlation between IMP and force for all trials was 0.74 ± 0.30. Separating out the parallel insertion from the perpendicular insertion revealed a significantly higher correlation for parallel, 0.91 ± 0.13 versus 0.56 ± 0.32. Significance: These data indicate IMP sensors can be used to assess force in a single muscle and the parallel insertion method should be used. New findings • What is the central question of this study? Successful outcomes of tendon and muscle transfers depend on proper muscle tension. A near linear relationship has been seen between muscle force and intramuscular pressure. This study aims to develop an intraoperative technique for assessing passive muscle tension using intramuscular pressure. • What is the main finding and its importance? The findings from this study reveal a high correlation between pressure and passive tension in a single muscle. The techniques developed in this study will allow the translation to a human model. The work will help to improve surgical outcomes and aim to retain muscle strength in the patient following procedures such as tendon and muscle transfers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301-1309
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 22 2017


  • passive force
  • surgical tool
  • technology translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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