The rupture of the Achilles tendon is frequently sports-related. In the time from 1 January, 1978 until 31 December, 1988, we treated 358 men and 54 women with such an injury at the Staatliche Orthopaedische Klinik in Munich. The average age of these patients was 43 years. The site of the rupture was generally located between 3-5 cm proximal of the distal insertion of the tendon. In the follow-up examination of 122 patients with surgical treatment of tendo calcaneus ruptures 85% showed 'good' to 'very good' subjective results. Of the operated patients 97% would choose the same treatment under similar circumstances. The isokinetic studies demonstrated a loss of static and dynamic strength in plantar flexion of the ankle joint of 9.1%, and 16.7% respectively, when compared to the healthy contralateral side. The ultrasound examination revealed a thickening of the tendon and of the dorsal paratenon with changes in the internal structure of the injured Achilles tendon. In spite of these favourable results, the high complication rate of 15.1% shows the need for new and extensive studies regarding the various alternative treatment forms, such as functional, non-operative options, to finally resolve the debate about the optimal treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures.
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