Background: Achilles tendon disorders are among the most common maladies encountered in sports medicine. Increased tendon thickness is considered to be a risk factor for Achilles tendon disorders. Ultrasonography is currently the modality of choice that best demonstrate the Achilles tendon abnormalities. This study investigated Intra-rater reliability of ultrasound in Achilles tendon thickness measurements among asymptomatic’-s, performed by a qualified physiotherapist with limited ultrasound training.
Method: A test retest reliability design was used. 25 healthy participants were recruited from Sheffield Hallam University. Achilles tendon thickness measurements were performed on two occasions, approximately 30 minutes apart; by the same rater, under same testing conditions.
Results: The Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for intra-rater reliability was found be excellent (ICC =0.935; 95% confidence interval, 0.88-0.96).
Implications: Ultrasound can be used in the field of physiotherapy as a clinical tool for prevention, assessment and monitoring rehabilitation of athletes.
Conclusion: Ultrasound evaluation of Achilles tendon thickness can be reliably performed by a qualified physiotherapist with limited ultrasound training. Further research is required to investigate inter rater reliability and among different patient populations with proper US training.