The measurement of muscle parameters on the medial gastrocnemius using diagnostic ultrasound
Gilmour, Roslyn Anne
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The Physiotherapy profession has a growing interest in the use of Diagnostic Ultrasound as an adjunct tool for assessment; biofeedback during treatment; rehabilitation evaluation and research. It has not been endorsed as a reliable measurement tool of muscle architecture, and research remains incomplete on the topic. Measurement of muscle architecture is of particular interest and relevance to physiotherapists since it could serve to objectify assessment and treatment practices in current use. The purpose of this study was to recreate the methodology of published authors using Diagnostic Ultrasound to measure parameters of muscle architecture, and to conduct a Pilot study to test reliability when used for this purpose. The methodology of previous researchers was reproduced, and intra-rater reliability tested on three adults using a test-retest design. The medial gastrocnemius muscle was imaged with Diagnostic Ultrasound with the ankle held passively in two different positions. The study demonstrated results similar to other authors, and overall intrarater reliability was demonstrated. Additional methodological aspects were investigated, and results indicated some aspects significantly impacted on reliability. A larger number of participants would be required for results to be statistically significant. The complexity of testing for reliability in all its aspects became apparent, and the study resulted in more questions being raised.