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01-12-2014 | Research | Uitgave 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2014

Limited ankle dorsiflexion increases the risk for mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy in infantry recruits: a prospective cohort study

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2014
Alon Rabin, Zvi Kozol, Aharon S Finestone
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13047-014-0048-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

AR participated in the design, data collection, statistical analysis and manuscript preparation. ZK participated in the design of the study, data collection, and manuscript revising. ASF conceived the study, participated in data collection and manuscript revising. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Achilles tendinopathy (AT) is a prevalent condition among runners and military personnel. Although ankle dorsiflexion (DF) range of motion (ROM) as measured with the knee bent has not been previously associated with AT, the literature concerning its role is limited. In addition, the role of lower extremity movement pattern in the pathogenesis of AT has not been studied prospectively.
The purpose of this study was to further explore the role of ankle DF ROM as measured with the knee bent and that of lower extremity movement pattern as risk factors for mid-portion AT.


Seventy healthy male military recruits (mean ± SD age, height and body mass of 19.6 ± 1.0 years, 176.0 ± 10.0 cm, and 71.5 ± 7.4 kg) participated in this study. Ankle DF ROM as measured with the knee bent in weight-bearing (WB) and non-weight-bearing (NWB), as well as lower extremity quality of movement during a lateral step down (LSD) test were measured at baseline. Participants were then followed for a 6-month period of army basic training with recording of the development of AT.


Five participants developed AT during training. Participants that developed AT had a more limited NWB ankle DF ROM (27.40 versus 21.10, p = 0.025). The quality of lower extremity movement did not differ between injured and uninjured participants (p = 0.361).


A more limited ankle DF ROM as measured in NWB with the knee bent increases the risk of developing AT among military recruits taking part in intensive physical training.

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