Longer duration of operative time enhances healing metabolites and improves patient outcome after Achilles tendon rupture surgery (2018)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Svedman S.; Aufwerber S.; Ackermann P.W.; Westin O.; Nilsson-Helander K.; *Carmont M.R.; Karlsson J.; Edman G.

Citation:
Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA; Jul 2018; vol. 26 (no. 7); p. 2011-2020

Abstract:
PURPOSE: The relationship between the duration of operative time (DOT), healing response and patient outcome has not been previously investigated. An enhanced healing response related to DOT may potentiate repair processes, especially in hypovascular and sparsely metabolized musculoskeletal tissues such as tendons. This study aimed to investigate the association between DOT and the metabolic healing response, patient reported outcome and the rate of post-operative complications after acute Achilles tendon injury.METHODS: Observational cohort, cross-sectional study with observers blinded to patient grouping. A total of two-hundred and fifty-six prospectively randomized patients (210 men, 46 women; mean age 41 years) with an acute total Achilles tendon rupture all operated on with uniform anaesthetic and surgical technique were retrospectively assessed. At 2 weeks post-operatively, six metabolites were quantified using microdialysis. At 3, 6 and 12 months, patient-reported pain, walking ability and physical activity were examined using self-reported questionnaires, Achilles tendon total rupture score, foot and ankle outcome score and physical activity scale. At 12 months, functional outcome was assessed using the heel-rise test. Complications, such as deep venous thrombosis, infections and re-operations, were recorded throughout the study.RESULTS: Patients who underwent longer DOT exhibited higher levels of glutamate (p = 0.026) and glycerol (p = 0.023) at 2 weeks. At the 1-year follow-up, longer DOT was associated with significantly less loss in physical activity (p = 0.003), less pain (p = 0.009), less walking limitations (p = 0.022) and better functional outcome (p = 0.014). DOT did not significantly correlate with the rate of adverse events, such as deep venous thrombosis, infections or reruptures. Higher glutamate levels were associated with less loss in physical activity (p = 0.017). All correlations were confirmed by multiple linear regressions taking confounding factors into consideration.CONCLUSION: The results from this study suggest a previously unknown mechanism, increased metabolic response associated with longer DOT, which may improve patient outcome after Achilles tendon rupture surgery. Allowing for a higher amount of traumatized tissue, as reflected by up-regulation of glycerol in patients with longer DOT, may prove to be an important surgical tip for stimulation of repair of hypometabolic soft tissue injuries, such as Achilles tendon ruptures.II.

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Development of an accelerated functional rehabilitation protocol following minimal invasive Achilles tendon repair (2018)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Braunstein, Mareen; Baumbach, Sebastian F; Boecker, Wolfgang; *Carmont, Mike R; Polzer, Hans

Citation:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy : Official Journal of the ESSKA; Mar 2018; vol. 26 (no. 3); p. 846-853

Abstract:
PURPOSE Surgical repair after acute Achilles tendon rupture leads to lower re-rupture rates than non-surgical treatment. After open repair, early functional rehabilitation improves outcome, but there are risks of infection and poor wound healing. Minimal invasive surgery reduces these risks; however, there are concerns about its stability. Consequently, physicians may have reservations about adopting functional rehabilitation. There is still no consensus about the post-operative treatment after minimal invasive repair. The aim of this study was to define the most effective and safe post-operative rehabilitation protocol following minimal invasive repair. METHODS A systematic literature search in Embase, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library for prospective trials reporting on early functional rehabilitation after minimal invasive repair was performed. Seven studies were included. RESULTS One randomized controlled trail, one prospective comparative and five prospective non-comparative studies were identified. Four studies performed full weight bearing, all demonstrating good functional results, an early return to work/sports and high satisfaction. One study allowed early mobilization leading to excellent subjective and objective results. The only randomized controlled trial performed the most accelerated protocol demonstrating a superior functional outcome and fewer complications after immediate full weight bearing combined with free ankle mobilization. The non-comparative study reported high satisfaction, good functional results and an early return to work/sports following combined treatment. CONCLUSION Immediate weight bearing in a functional brace, together with early mobilization, is safe and has superior outcome following minimally invasive repair of Achilles tendon rupture. Our recommended treatment protocol provides quality assurance for the patient and reliability for the attending physician. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE II.

Tendon end separation with loading in an Achilles tendon repair model: comparison of non-absorbable vs. absorbable sutures (2017)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Carmont, Michael R; Kuiper, Jan Herman; Grävare Silbernagel, Karin; Karlsson, Jón; Nilsson-Helander, Katarina

Citation:
of experimental orthopaedics; Dec 2017; vol. 4 (no. 1); p. 26

Abstract:
BACKGROUND Rupture of the Achilles tendon often leads to long-term morbidity, particularly calf weakness associated with tendon elongation. Operative repair of Achilles tendon ruptures leads to reduced tendon elongation. Tendon lengthening is a key problem in the restoration of function following Achilles tendon rupture. A study was performed to determine differences in initial separation, strength and failure characteristics of differing sutures and numbers of core strands in a percutaneous Achilles tendon repair model in response to initial loading.METHODSNineteen bovine Achilles tendons were repaired using a percutaneous/ minimally invasive technique with a combination of a modified Bunnell suture proximally and a Kessler suture distally, using non-absorbable 4-strand 6-strand repairs and absorbable 8-strand sutures. Specimens were then cyclically loaded using phases of 10 cycles of 100 N, 100 cycles of 100 N, 100 cycles of 190 N consistent with  early range of motion training and weight-bearing, before being loaded to failure.RESULTS Pre-conditioning of 10 cycles of 100 N resulted in separations of 4 mm for 6-strand, 5.9 mm for 4-strand, but 11.5 mm in 8-strand repairs, this comprised 48.5, 68.6 and 72.7% of the separation that occurred after 100 cycles of 100 N. The tendon separation after the third phase of 100 cycles of 190 N was 17.4 mm for 4-strand repairs, 16.6 mm for 6-strand repairs and 26.6 mm for 8-strand repairs. There were significant differences between the groups (p < 0.0001). Four and six strand non-absorbable repairs had significantly less separation than 8-strand absorbable repairs (p = 0.017 and p = 0.04 respectively). The mean (SEM) ultimate tensile strengths were 4-strand 464.8 N (27.4), 6-strand 543.5 N (49.6) and 8-strand 422.1 N (80.5). Regression analysis reveals no significant difference between the overall strength of the 3 repair models (p = 0.32) (4 vs. 6: p = 0.30, 4 vs. 8: p = 0.87; 6 vs. 8: p = 0.39). The most common mode of failure was pull out of the Kessler suture from the distal stump in 41.7% of specimens. CONCLUSION The use of a non-absorbable suture resulted in less end-to-end separation when compared to absorbable sutures when an Achilles tendon repair model was subject to cyclical loading. Ultimate failure occurred more commonly at the distal Kessler suture end although this occurred with separations in excess of clinical failure. The effect of early movement and loading on the Achilles tendon is not fully understood and requires more research.

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Functional outcomes of achilles tendon minimally invasive repair using 4- and 6-strand nonabsorbable suture: A cohort comparison study (2017)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Carmont M.R.; Brorsson A.; Olsson N.; Nilsson-Helander K.; Karlsson J.; Zellers J.A.; Silbernagel K.G.

Citation:
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine; Jan 2017; vol. 5 (no. 8)

Abstract:
Background: The aim of management of Achilles tendon rupture is to reduce tendon lengthening and maximize function while reducing the rerupture rate and minimizing other complications. Purpose: To determine changes in Achilles tendon resting angle (ATRA), heel-rise height, patient-reported outcomes, return to play, and occurrence of complications after minimally invasive repair of Achilles tendon ruptures using nonabsorbable sutures. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Between March 2013 and August 2015, a total of 70 patients (58males, 12 females) with amean age of 42 +/- 8 years were included and evaluated at 6 weeks and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after repair of an Achilles tendon rupture. Surgical repair was performed using either 4-strand or 6-strand nonabsorbable sutures. After surgery, patients were mobilized, fully weightbearing using a functional brace. Early active movement was permitted starting at 2 weeks. Results: There were no significant differences in the ATRA, Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score (ATRS), and Heel-Rise Height Index (HRHI) between the 4- and 6-strand repairs. The mean (SD) relative ATRA was -13.1degree (6.6degree) (dorsiflexion) following injury; this was reduced to 7.6degree (4.8degree) (plantar flexion) directly after surgery. During initial rehabilitation at 6 weeks, the relative ATRA was 0.6degree (7.4degree) (neutral) and -7.0degree (5.3degree) (dorsiflexion) at 3 months, after which ATRA improved significantly with time to 12 months (P = .005). At 12 months, the median ATRS was 93 (range, 35-100), and the mean (SD) HRHI and Heel-Rise Repetition Index were 81% (0.22%) and 82.9% (0.17%), respectively. The relative ATRA at 3 and 12 months correlated with HRHI (r = 0.617, P < .001 and r = 0.535, P < .001, respectively). Conclusion: Increasing the number of suture strands from 4 to 6 does not alter the ATRA or HRHI after minimally invasive Achilles tendon repair. The use of a nonabsorbable suture during minimally invasive repair when used together with accelerated rehabilitation did not prevent the development of an increased relative ATRA. The ATRA at 3months after surgery correlated with heel-rise height at 12 months.

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Tendon end separation with loading in an Achilles tendon repair model: comparison of non-absorbable vs. absorbable sutures (2017)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Carmont M.R.; Kuiper J.H.; Gravare Silbernagel K.; Karlsson J.; Nilsson-Helander K.

Citation:
Journal of Experimental Orthopaedics; Dec 2017; vol. 4 (no. 1)

Abstract:
Background: Rupture of the Achilles tendon often leads to long-term morbidity, particularly calf weakness associated with tendon elongation. Operative repair of Achilles tendon ruptures leads to reduced tendon elongation. Tendon lengthening is a key problem in the restoration of function following Achilles tendon rupture. A study was performed to determine differences in initial separation, strength and failure characteristics of differing sutures and numbers of core strands in a percutaneous Achilles tendon repair model in response to initial loading. Methods: Nineteen bovine Achilles tendons were repaired using a percutaneous/minimally invasive technique with a combination of a modified Bunnell suture proximally and a Kessler suture distally, using non-absorbable 4-strand 6-strand repairs and absorbable 8-strand sutures. Specimens were then cyclically loaded using phases of 10 cycles of 100 N, 100 cycles of 100 N, 100 cycles of 190 N consistent with early range of motion training and weight-bearing, before being loaded to failure. Results: Pre-conditioning of 10 cycles of 100 N resulted in separations of 4 mm for 6-strand, 5.9 mm for 4-strand, but 11.5 mm in 8-strand repairs, this comprised 48.5, 68.6 and 72.7% of the separation that occurred after 100 cycles of 100 N. The tendon separation after the third phase of 100 cycles of 190 N was 17.4 mm for 4-strand repairs, 16.6 mm for 6-strand repairs and 26.6 mm for 8-strand repairs. There were significant differences between the groups (p < 0.0001). Four and six strand non-absorbable repairs had significantly less separation than 8-strand absorbable repairs (p = 0.017 and p = 0.04 respectively). The mean (SEM) ultimate tensile strengths were 4-strand 464.8 N (27.4), 6-strand 543.5 N (49.6) and 8-strand 422.1 N (80.5). Regression analysis reveals no significant difference between the overall strength of the 3 repair models (p = 0.32) (4 vs. 6: p = 0.30, 4 vs. 8: p = 0.87; 6 vs. 8: p = 0.39). The most common mode of failure was pull out of the Kessler suture from the distal stump in 41.7% of specimens. Conclusion: The use of a non-absorbable suture resulted in less end-to-end separation when compared to absorbable sutures when an Achilles tendon repair model was subject to cyclical loading. Ultimate failure occurred more commonly at the distal Kessler suture end although this occurred with separations in excess of clinical failure. The effect of early movement and loading on the Achilles tendon is not fully understood and requires more research.

Development of an accelerated functional rehabilitation protocol following minimal invasive Achilles tendon repair. (2015)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Braunstein M, Baumbach SF, Boecker W, *Carmont MR, Polzer H.

Citation:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2015 Sep 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract:
Surgical repair after acute Achilles tendon rupture leads to lower re-rupture rates than non-surgical treatment. After open repair, early functional rehabilitation improves outcome, but there are risks of infection and poor wound healing. Minimal invasive surgery reduces these risks; however, there are concerns about its stability. Consequently, physicians may have reservations about adopting functional rehabilitation. There is still no consensus about the post-operative treatment after minimal invasive repair. The aim of this study was to define the most effective and safe post-operative rehabilitation protocol following minimal invasive repair.
METHODS:
A systematic literature search in Embase, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library for prospective trials reporting on early functional rehabilitation after minimal invasive repair was performed. Seven studies were included.
RESULTS:
One randomized controlled trail, one prospective comparative and five prospective non-comparative studies were identified. Four studies performed full weight bearing, all demonstrating good functional results, an early return to work/sports and high satisfaction. One study allowed early mobilization leading to excellent subjective and objective results. The only randomized controlled trial performed the most accelerated protocol demonstrating a superior functional outcome and fewer complications after immediate full weight bearing combined with free ankle mobilization. The non-comparative study reported high satisfaction, good functional results and an early return to work/sports following combined treatment.
CONCLUSION:
Immediate weight bearing in a functional brace, together with early mobilization, is safe and has superior outcome following minimally invasive repair of Achilles tendon rupture. Our recommended treatment protocol provides quality assurance for the patient and reliability for the attending physician.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

The Achilles tendon resting angle as an indirect measure of Achilles tendon length following rupture, repair, and rehabilitation (2015)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Carmont M.R., Gravare Silbernagel K., Brorsson A., Olsson N., Maffulli N., Karlsson J.

Citation:
Asia-Pacific Journal of Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation and Technology, April 2015, vol./is. 2/2(49-55), 2214-6873 (01 Apr 2015)

Abstract:
Background Rupture of the Achilles tendon may result in reduced functional activity and reduced plantar flexion strength. These changes may arise from elongation of the Achilles tendon. An observational study was performed to quantify the Achilles tendon resting angle (ATRA) in patients following Achilles tendon rupture, surgical repair, and rehabilitation, respectively. Methods Between May 2012 and January 2013, 26 consecutive patients (17 men), with a mean (standard deviation, SD) age of 42 (8) years were included and evaluated following injury, repair, and at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months, respectively (rehabilitation period). The outcome was measured using the ATRA, Achilles tendon total rupture score (ATRS), and heel-rise test. Results Following rupture, the mean (SD) absolute ATRA was 55 (8)degree for the injured side compared with 43 (7)degree(p < 0.001) for the noninjured side. Immediately after repair, the angle reduced to 37 (9)degree(p < 0.001). The difference between the injured and noninjured sides, the relative ATRA, was -12.5 (4.3)degree following injury; this was reduced to 7 (7.9)degree following surgery (p < 0.001). During initial rehabilitation, at the 6-week time point, the relative ATRA was 2.6 (6.2)degree(p = 0.04) and at 3 months it was -6.5 (6.5)degree(p < 0.001). After the 3-month time point, there were no significant changes in the resting angle. The ATRS improved significantly (p < 0.001) during each period up to 9 months following surgery, where a score of 85 (10)degreewas reported. The heel-rise limb symmetry index was 66 (22)% at 9 months and 82 (14)% at 12 months. At 3 months and 6 months, the absolute ATRA correlated with the ATRS (r = 0.63, p = 0.001, N = 26 and r = 0.46, p = 0.027, N = 23, respectively). At 12 months, the absolute ATRA correlated with the heel-rise height (r = -0.63, p = 0.002, N = 22). Conclusion The ATRA increases following injury, is reduced by surgery, and then increases again during initial rehabilitation. The angle also correlates with patient-reported symptoms early in the rehabilitation phase and with heel-rise height after 1 year. The ATRA might be considered a simple and effective means to evaluate Achilles tendon function 1 year after the rupture.