Growth and aging

Document Type



The purpose of this investigation was to examine bone and muscle characteristics of the lower leg and stretch-shortening cycle capabilities of the ankle in young (22.3 ± 1.3 yrs) and elderly (67.5 ± 3.3 yrs) males. Peripheral quantitiative computed tomography (pQCT) was utilized to assess bone stress-strain index, bone ultimate fracture load, muscle density, muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), fat CSA and muscle+bone CSA. Maximal voluntary isometric plantarflexion (MVIP) force and force-velocity measurments during a countermovement hop (CMH) and drop hops from 20, 30 and 40 cm (DH20, DH30, DH40) were also measured. Bone stress-strain index was significantly higher in young males as well as muscle density, muscle CSA and muscle+bone CSA in comparison to elderly males. MVIP peak force and rate of force development was significantly higher in young males in comparsion to elderly males as well. An analysis of the force-velocity curves indicated that young males had significanlty higher levels of force and velocity in both the eccentric and concentric phase during the CMH, DH20, DH30 and DH40 in comparsion to elderly males. The data from this investigation indicate that aging potentially negatively influences lower leg bone and muscle strength and this may be reflected in lower stretch-shortening cycle capabilities of the ankle.