About Us

The Tendon Research Group at the University of Delaware is working to advance understanding of tendon injuries and repair so that tailored treatments can be developed.

Chronic tendinopathy and tendon rupture are on the rise, with injuries occurring both in the workplace and on the playing field. Tendon injuries can result in extended time off work and slow return to physical activity, frequently leaving the injured with permanent deficits in function. Healing varies widely among people with tendon injuries, and the reason for this variation is poorly understood. The Delaware Tendon Research Group is an interdisciplinary team focused on improving treatment outcomes for tendon injuries. Our research spans from the basic science to clinical interventions. Our approach promotes a holistic view of tendon health by evaluating symptoms, lower extremity function, psychological factors, and tendon structural and mechanical properties. These domains of tendon health address patients’ symptoms as well as impairments, allowing investigators to develop a better understanding of the factors that affect injury and healing. We aim to improve understanding of tendon injuries, and to integrate this knowledge into new, patient-centered rehabilitation therapies. The close connection between our Tendon Research Group and the Delaware Physical Therapy Clinic enables conceptual ideas generated in the clinic to be explored in our research and, in turn, implemented in clinical practice.

Current Projects

Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy Structure and Gait

The purpose of this study is to assess walking in individuals with insertional Achilles tendinopathy (pain of the Achilles tendon at the heel bone).

Participate in this study or learn more

Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy Surgical Recovery

The purpose of the study is to investigate recovery following surgical treatment of insertional Achilles tendinopathy (pain of the Achilles tendon at the heel bone).

Please email to learn more

Assessment of Achilles Tendon Injury in Adolescents

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of heel pain on adolescent Achilles tendon health and lower limb biomechanics (the mechanics of the body).

 Participate in this study or learn more

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Achilles Tendon Rupture Rehabilitation

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) in addition to standard rehabilitation following surgical repair for Achilles tendon rupture. NMES is a standard rehabilitation tool used to help improve muscle strength, and is commonly utilized for individuals after Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction or Total Knee Replacement amongst other injuries.
If you’ve recently torn your Achilles tendon or believe you’ve torn your Achilles tendon, please contact us for more information about this study or other ongoing studies relating to Achilles tendon ruptures.

Contact Information:
Morgan Potter, PT, DPT
Phone: 302-831-3145

CAM Boot Influence on Gait Mechanics and Quadriceps Activation

The purpose of the study is to understand the impact wearing a controlled ankle motion boot (CAM) has on the knee joint during walking and lower extremity muscle activation after knee injury and in a healthy population

Shockwave Therapy as Treatment for Patients with Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of extracorporeal shockwave therapy as a treatment for insertional Achilles tendinopathy. We will be looking to see how symptoms, lower leg function, and tendon structure recover with treatment. This will help us to understand shockwave therapy’s role in rehabilitation treatment.

Achilles Tendinopathy, Treatment with eXercise Comparing Men and Women

The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of exercise as treatment for Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis) in women and men. This study will evaluate how symptoms, lower leg strength, functional capacity and tendon structure recover with treatment. This knowledge will help us understand if women and men with Achilles tendinopathy respond differently to rehabilitation.

Activity Modification and Load Management for Adolescents with Heel Pain

 The purpose of the study is to test a treatment strategy specific for children and adolescents with calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s Disease), focusing on educating you and your child about activity modification and load management while allowing them to continue sports or physical activity during treatment.

Donor Site Tendon Morphology after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction (ACLR)

The purpose of the study is to understand the healing process of the donor site tendon after an autograft harvest for ACLR.

Collaborations Across Disciplines, Institutions, and Countries

The Delaware Tendon Research Group collaborates with many research groups, both within and outside of the university community, including doctors and medical professionals in industry. Currently, we have research studies together with Dr. Josh Baxter at University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Daniel Cortes at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Silbernagel is also on the steering group for an international group, The Achilles Tendinopathy Consensus Group (COS-AT), working on developing a core outcome set for Achilles tendinopathy.

Muscle and Tendon Performance Lab
540 S. College Ave. Newark, DE 19711
Phone: (302) 831-3145

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