Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Modelling human musculoskeletal functional movements using ultrasound imaging

Michael Peolsson3, Tommy Löfstedt12, Susanna Vogt12, Hans Stenlund12, Anton Arndt45 and Johan Trygg12*

Author Affiliations

1 Computational Life Science Cluster (CLiC), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

2 Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

3 School of Technology and Health, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

4 Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Orthopeadic Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden

5 Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH), Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Medical Imaging 2010, 10:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-10-9

Published: 21 May 2010



A widespread and fundamental assumption in the health sciences is that muscle functions are related to a wide variety of conditions, for example pain, ischemic and neurological disorder, exercise and injury. It is therefore highly desirable to study musculoskeletal contributions in clinical applications such as the treatment of muscle injuries, post-surgery evaluations, monitoring of progressive degeneration in neuromuscular disorders, and so on.

The spatial image resolution in ultrasound systems has improved tremendously in the last few years and nowadays provides detailed information about tissue characteristics. It is now possible to study skeletal muscles in real-time during activity.


The ultrasound images are transformed to be congruent and are effectively compressed and stacked in order to be analysed with multivariate techniques. The method is applied to a relevant clinical orthopaedic research field, namely to describe the dynamics in the Achilles tendon and the calf during real-time movements.


This study introduces a novel method to medical applications that can be used to examine ultrasound image sequences and to detect, visualise and quantify skeletal muscle dynamics and functions.


This new objective method is a powerful tool to use when visualising tissue activity and dynamics of musculoskeletal ultrasound registrations.