Muscle and tendon size relationships in a paralyzed chick embryo model of clubfoot

John A. Germiller, Amy L. Lerner, Rodney J. Pacifico, Randall T. Loder, Robert N. Hensinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Clubfoot is a birth defect that may be related to muscle weakness or imbalance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among muscle and tendon size and embryonic motility in a paralyzed chick embryo model of clubfoot and arthrogryposis. Decamethonium bromide, a neuromuscular blocking agent, was administered to a series of embryos in five dosage groups, producing a cohort of embryos with various degrees of paralysis and atrophy of tendons and muscle. Embryonic movement frequency was monitored, and after death in late gestation, the cross-sectional areas of the calf musculature and the gastrocnemius tendon proximal to the ankle were measured histologically. Significant correlations were found between embryonic motility and both muscle (r2 = 0.52) and tendon (r2 = 0.77) areas. In addition, a significant correlation (r2 = 0.74) was found between muscle and tendon areas, suggesting that a measurement of one may b used to predict the other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-318
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Atrophy
  • Clubfoot
  • Muscle
  • Paralysis
  • Tendon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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