The release of adhesions improves outcome following minimally invasive repair of Achilles tendon rupture (2022)

Type of publication:Journal article

Author(s):*Carmont, Michael R; Knutsson, Sara Brandt; Brorsson, Annelie; Karlsson, Jón; Nilsson-Helander, Katarina

Citation:Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA; Mar 2022; vol. 30 (no. 3); p. 1109-1117

Abstract:PURPOSE Operative repair of Achilles tendon rupture may lead to complications, which influence outcome adversely. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, impact and response to treatment of post-operative adhesions. METHODS From February 2009 to 2021, 248 patients operated on with percutaneous or minimally invasive surgical repair have been prospectively evaluated using the Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score (ATRS) and Heel-Rise Height Index (HRHI), following acute Achilles tendon rupture. RESULTS Fourteen (5.6%) patients were identified as having adhesions. Four patients reported superficial adhesions and ten patients reported a deeper tightness of the tendon. At a mean (SD) of 10.5 (2.3) months following repair, the overall ATRS was at a median (IQR) 65 (44.5-78) points and (HRHI) was mean (SD) 81.5 (13.5)%. Of those deemed to have deep adhesions the antero-posterior diameter of the tendon was at mean (SD) 15.6 (4.6) mm. Open release of superficial adhesions resulted in improved ATRS in all patients. Endoscopic debridement anterior to the Achilles tendon led to alleviation of symptoms of tightness and discomfort from deep adhesions and improved outcome in terms of the ATRS score. At a mean (SD) of 15.9 (3.3)-month follow-up from initial rupture and repair, the patients reported at median (IQR) ATRS scores of 85 (64.8-92.8) points, Tegner level 5 (3-9) and mean (SD) HRHI 86.2 (9.5)%. Patients significantly improved both ATRS and HRHI following release at median (IQR) of 16.5 (- 1.8-29.3) points (p = 0.041) and mean (SD) 5.6 (8.3)% (p = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS The incidence of patient-reported adhesions following minimally invasive repair of Achilles tendon rupture was estimated to be 5.6%. The occurrence of superficial adhesions was associated with a lower outcome scores as well as symptoms of anterior tendon tightness and stiffness were associated with a lower score in most patients. Surgical release of adhesions led to a significant improvement in outcome.