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Patients with an Achilles tendon re-rupture have long-term functional deficits in function and worse patient-reported outcome than primary ruptures

Journal article
Authors Olof Westin
Katarina Nilsson-Helander
Karin Grävare Silbernagel
Kristian Samuelsson
Annelie Brorsson
Jon Karlsson
Published in Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy
Volume 26
Issue 10
Pages 3063-3072
ISSN 0942-2056
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics
Pages 3063-3072
Language en
Keywords Achilles tendon, Re-ruptures, Outcome, Tendon length, Long-term follow-up, Primary ruptures, nonsurgical treatment, surgical-treatment, rehabilitation, reliability, validation, elongation, repair, score
Subject categories Orthopedics, Sport and Fitness Sciences


Purpose The aim of this study was to perform a long-term follow-up of patients treated for an Achilles tendon re-rupture, using established outcome measurements for tendon structure, lower extremity function and symptoms, and to compare the results with those for the uninjured side. A secondary aim was to compare the outcome with that of patients treated for primary ruptures. The hypotheses were that patients with a re-rupture recover well, and have similar long-term outcome as primary ruptures. Methods Twenty patients (4 females) with a mean (SD) age of 44 (10.9) years, ranging from 24 to 64, were included. The patients were identified by reviewing the medical records of all Achilles tendon ruptures at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Kungsbacka Hospital, Sweden, between 2006 and 2016. All patients received standardised surgical treatment and rehabilitation. The mean (SD) follow-up was 51 (38.1) months. A test battery of validated clinical and functional tests, patient-reported outcome measurements and measurements of tendon elongation were performed at the final follow-up. This cohort was then compared with the 2-year follow-up results from a previous randomised controlled trial of patients treated for primary Achilles tendon rupture. Results There were deficits on the injured side compared with the healthy side in terms of heel-rise height (11.9 versus 12.5 cm, p = 0.008), repetitions (28.5 versus 31.7, p = 0.004) and drop-jump height (13.2 versus 15.1 cm, p = 0.04). There was a significant difference in calf circumference (37.1 versus 38.4 cm, p =< 0.001) and ankle dorsiflexion on the injured side compared with the healthy side (35.3 degrees versus 40.8 degrees, p = 0.003). However, no significant differences were found in terms of tendon length 22.5 (2.5) cm on the injured side and 21.8 (2.8) cm on the healthy side. Compared with primary ruptures, the re-rupture cohort obtained significantly worse results for the Achilles tendon total rupture score, with a mean of 78 (21.2) versus 89.5 (14.6) points, (p= 0.007). The re-ruptures showed a higher mean LSI heel-rise height, 94.7% (9.3%) versus 83.5% (11.7%) (p = < 0.0001), and superior mean LSI eccentric-concentic power, 110.4% (49.8%) versus 79.3% (21%) (p = 0.001), than the primary ruptures. Conclusion The results of this study indicate that patients with an Achilles tendon re-rupture had continued symptoms and functional deficits on the injured side, after a long-term follow-up. Patients with an Achilles tendon re-rupture had worse patient-reported outcomes but similar or superior functional results compared with patients with primary ruptures.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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