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
- tendon injuries
- tendon repair
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