Background: Following percutaneous repair of acute Achilles tendon (AT) ruptures, early postoperative weightbearing is advocated; however, it is debatable how aggressive rehabilitation should be. We compared the clinical and functional outcomes in 2 groups of patients who followed either our "traditional" or a "slowed down" rehabilitation after percutaneous surgical repair. Methods: Sixty patients were prospectively recruited to a slowed down (29 patients) or a traditional (31 patients) rehabilitation program. Both groups were allowed immediate weightbearing postoperatively; a removable brace with 5 heel wedges was applied at 2 weeks. In the slowed-down group, 1 wedge was removed after 4 weeks. Gradual removal of the boot took place after 4 wedges were kept for 4 weeks. In the traditional group, 1 wedge was removed every 2 weeks, with removal of the boot after 2 wedges had been kept for 2 weeks. The AT Resting Angle (ATRA) evaluated tendon elongation. Patient reported functional outcomes were assessed using the AT Rupture Score (ATRS). Calf circumference difference and the isometric plantarflexion strength of the gastro-soleus complex were evaluated. Results: At the 12-month follow-up, both ATRA and ATRS were more favorable in the slowed-down group. The isometric strength and the calf circumference were more similar to the contralateral leg in the slowed-down group than in the traditional one. Conclusion: Following percutaneous repair of acute Achilles tendon patients undergoing slowed down rehabilitation performed better than the traditional one. These conclusions must be considered within the limitations of the present study.

Slowed-Down Rehabilitation Following Percutaneous Repair of Achilles Tendon Rupture

Maffulli, Nicola
;
Oliva, Francesco;
2022

Abstract

Background: Following percutaneous repair of acute Achilles tendon (AT) ruptures, early postoperative weightbearing is advocated; however, it is debatable how aggressive rehabilitation should be. We compared the clinical and functional outcomes in 2 groups of patients who followed either our "traditional" or a "slowed down" rehabilitation after percutaneous surgical repair. Methods: Sixty patients were prospectively recruited to a slowed down (29 patients) or a traditional (31 patients) rehabilitation program. Both groups were allowed immediate weightbearing postoperatively; a removable brace with 5 heel wedges was applied at 2 weeks. In the slowed-down group, 1 wedge was removed after 4 weeks. Gradual removal of the boot took place after 4 wedges were kept for 4 weeks. In the traditional group, 1 wedge was removed every 2 weeks, with removal of the boot after 2 wedges had been kept for 2 weeks. The AT Resting Angle (ATRA) evaluated tendon elongation. Patient reported functional outcomes were assessed using the AT Rupture Score (ATRS). Calf circumference difference and the isometric plantarflexion strength of the gastro-soleus complex were evaluated. Results: At the 12-month follow-up, both ATRA and ATRS were more favorable in the slowed-down group. The isometric strength and the calf circumference were more similar to the contralateral leg in the slowed-down group than in the traditional one. Conclusion: Following percutaneous repair of acute Achilles tendon patients undergoing slowed down rehabilitation performed better than the traditional one. These conclusions must be considered within the limitations of the present study.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4805210
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