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Early, active rehabilitation following mini-open repair of Achilles tendon rupture: a prospective study
  1. J D F Calder1,
  2. T S Saxby2
  1. 1North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, Hampshire and Imperial College, London, UK
  2. 2Brisbane Foot and Ankle Centre, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    James D F Calder
    North Hampshire Hospital, Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke RG24 9NA, Hampshire, UK;


Objective: To assess the use of a supervised active rehabilitation program following repair of acute Achilles tendon ruptures using a minimally invasive suture system.

Methods: We performed a prospective study on 46 patients undergoing surgical repair of acute Achilles tendon ruptures using the Achillon suture system. All patients began a supervised active rehabilitation program from 2 weeks postoperatively. Patients were placed in a range of motion brace fixed at 20° equinus for 2 weeks to allow wound healing followed by active movement from neutral to full plantar flexion for 4 weeks.

Results: At a minimum follow up of 12 months there were no re-ruptures. All patients were able to return to their previous sporting activities by 6 months post operation. The average American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score at 6 months was 98, with 42 patients having excellent and four patients good Leppilahti scores. The average time to return to work was 22 days. One patient had a superficial wound infection which settled with 5 days of oral antibiotics. Two patients had altered sensation in the distribution of the sural nerve which settled spontaneously within 3 months.

Conclusion: The Achillon suture system appears to allow a safe early active rehabilitation program and achieves a high rate of success. Further evaluation is necessary with regard to potential damage to the sural nerve.

  • Achilles tendon
  • ankle injury
  • rehabilitation
  • tendon injuries
  • tendon repair

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