Achilles Tendon Rupture: Can the Tendon Gap on Ultrasound Scan Predict the Outcome of Functional Rehabilitation Program?
Background and objectives: There is a growing use of functional rehabilitation programs for the treatment of Achilles tendon rupture. Factors such as patient age and level of activity have been used to guide the decision. One of the debated indications is the gap size between the ruptured ends of the tendon. This study aims to define any correlation between the amount of the initial gap between tendon ends and patients outcome treated with the functional rehabilitation program. Method: A prospective case series study of all patients with acute Achilles tendon rupture treated non-surgically with the functional rehabilitation program between 2016 and 2018. The tendon gap was measured with an ultrasound scan on the initial presentation. Patients were followed for a minimum of 12 months and assessed for Achilles Tendon Rupture Score (ATRS), plantarflexion strength, and re-rupture rate. Results: A total of 56 patients completed one-year follow-up, and 2 patients had re-ruptures. The mean plantar flexion gap was 13.7 mm. The mean ATRS at 12 months was 85.12. There was no statistically significant correlation between the final ATRS and the mean rupture gap. Conclusion: The outcome following non-operative functional rehabilitation treatment of rupture Achilles tendon did not correlate with the size of the tendon gap, and authors recommend that decision on functional rehabilitation should not be based on these criteria.
- Trauma and Orthopaedics