Musculotendinous ruptures of the achilles tendon had greater heel-rise height index compared with mid-substance rupture with non-operative management: A retrospective cohort study (2024)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Carmont, Michael R; Gunnarsson, Baldvin; Brorsson, Annelie; Nilsson-Helander, Katarina.

Journal of Isakos. 9(2):148-152, 2024 Apr.

INTRODUCTION: Achilles tendon ruptures (ATRs) may occur at varying locations with ruptures at the mid-substance (MS) of the tendon most common, followed tears at the musculotendinous (MT) junction. There is scant literature about the outcome of MT ATR. This study compared the outcome of patients with a MT ATR with patients following a MS ATR. METHODS: The diagnostic features and clinical outcome of 37 patients with a MT ATR were compared with a cohort of 19 patients with a MS ATR. Patients in both groups were managed non-operatively and received the same rehabilitation protocol with weight-bearing rehabilitation in protective functional brace. RESULTS: From February 2009 to August 2023, 556 patients presented with an ATR. Of these, 37 (6.7 %) patients were diagnosed with a MT tear. At final follow-up, at 12 months following injury, the MT group reported an Achilles tendon total rupture score (ATRS) of mean (standard deviation (SD)) of 83.6 (3.5) (95 % confidence interval (CI) 81.8, 85.4) and median (inter-quartile range (IQR)) ATRS of 86 points (78-95.5) and the MS group mean (SD) of 80.3 (8.5) (95%CI) 76.1, 80.5) and median (IQR) of 87 points (59-95) (p = 0.673). Functional evaluation, however, revealed statistically significant differences in mean (SD) heel-rise height index MT group 79 % (25) (95%CI 65.9, 92.1) and MS group 59 % (13) (95%CI 51.9, 67.1) (p = 0.019). In the MT rupture group, there were considerably less complications than the MS rupture group. CONCLUSIONS: When managed non-operatively, with only a 6 weeks period of brace protection, patients have little limitation although have some residual reduction of single heel-rise at the one-year following MT ATR. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV.

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