The time taken to rupture in cyclic fatigue tests, to a stress of 45 MPa, was used to compare the fatigue quality of tendons from sheep of varying ages. Muscle and tendon cross-sectional areas were used to calculate the stress-in-life of each tendon. For any given age, high-stressed plantaris tendons were of a higher fatigue quality than low-stressed extensor tendons. Both fatigue quality and stress-in-life increased with age for each tendon type. High-stressed tendons are subjected to large increases in stress-in-life during growth, and fatigue quality increased significantly with this stress. This relationship was not seen, however, in low-stressed tendons, which are not subjected to a comparable range of stresses over time. It is possible that cells modify tendon fatigue quality in response to tendon loading history. Whilst Young's modulus was seen to increase with age, no difference was detected between high- and low-stressed tendons.

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