The work describes an automated method of tracking dynamic ultrasound images using a normalized cross-correlation algorithm, applied to the patellar and gastrocnemius tendon. Displacement was examined during active and passive tendon excursions using B-mode ultrasonography. In the passive test where two regions of interest (2-ROI) were tracked, the automated tracking algorithm showed insignificant deviations from relative zero displacement for the knee (0.01 ± 0.04 mm) and ankle (–0.02 ± 0.04 mm) (P > .05). Similarly, when tracking 1-ROI the passive tests showed no significant differences (P > .05) between automatic and manual methods, 7.50 ± 0.60 vs 7.66 ± 0.63 mm for the patellar and 11.28 ± 1.36 vs 11.17 ± 1.35 mm for the gastrocnemius tests. The active tests gave no significant differences (P > .05) between automatic and manual methods with differences of 0.29 ± 0.04 mm for the patellar and 0.26 ± 0.01 mm for the gastrocnemius. This study showed that automatic tracking of in vivo displacement of tendon during dynamic excursion under load is possible and valid when compared with the standardized method. This approach will save time during analysis and enable discrete areas of the tendon to be examined.
Stephen J. Pearson (Corresponding Author) is with the Centre for Health, Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences Research, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. Tim Ritchings and A.S.A. Mohamed are with the Control & Systems Engineering Research Centre, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.