The biomechanical effects of limb lengthening and botulinum toxin type A on rabbit tendon

Ronke M. Olabisi, Thomas M. Best, Christof Hurschler, Ray Vanderby, Kenneth J. Noonan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have examined the effects of distraction osteogenesis (DO) on bone, but relatively fewer have explored muscle adaptation, and even less have addressed the concomitant alterations that occur in the tendon. The purpose herein was to characterize the biomechanical properties of normal and elongated rabbit (N=20) tendons with and without prophylactic botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) treatment. Elastic and viscoelastic properties of Achilles and Tibialis anterior (TA) tendons were evaluated through pull to failure and stress relaxation tests. All TA tendons displayed nonlinear viscoelastic responses that were strain dependent. A power law formulation was used to model tendon viscoelastic responses and tendon elastic responses were fit with a microstructural model. Distraction-elongated tendons displayed increases in compliance and stress relaxation rates over undistracted tendons; BTX-A administration offset this result. The elastic moduli of distraction-lengthened TA tendons were diminished (p=0.010) when distraction was combined with gastrocnemius (GA) BTX-A administration, elastic moduli were further decreased (p=0.004) and distraction following TA BTX-A administration resulted in TA tendons with moduli not different from contralateral control (p>0.05). Compared to contralateral control, distraction and GA BTX-A administration displayed shortened toe regions, (p=0.031 and 0.038, respectively), while tendons receiving BTX-A in the TA had no differences in the toe region (p>0.05). Ultimate tensile stress was unaltered by DO, but stress at the transition from the toe to the linear region of the stress-stretch curve was diminished in all distraction-elongated TA tendons (p<0.05). The data suggest that prophylactic BTX-A treatment to the TA protects some tendon biomechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3177-3182
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Botulinum toxin
  • Distraction osteogenesis
  • Tendon biomechanics
  • Tendon viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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