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Early weight-bearing and rehabilitation versus immobilisation following surgical Achilles tendon repair (PEDro synthesis)
  1. Kevin Phan1,
  2. Ryan J Campbell1,
  3. Steven J Kamper2
  1. 1NeuroSpine Surgery Research Group (NSURG), Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2The George Institute for Global Heath, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Steven J Kamper, The George Institute for Global Heath, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Level 3/50 Bridge Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia; skamper{at}

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This section features a recent systematic review that is indexed on PEDro, the Physiotherapy Evidence Database ( PEDro is a free, web-based database of evidence relevant to physiotherapy.

▸ McCormack R, Bovard J. Early functional rehabilitation or cast immobilisation for the postoperative management of acute Achilles tendon rupture? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:1329–35.


Acute rupture of the Achilles tendon is an increasingly common sporting injury, particularly in males.1 ,2 Current clinical management strategies include conservative and surgical approaches, followed by 3–6 months rehabilitation. When surgery is performed, traditional postoperative protocols involved an extended period of ankle immobilisation in a rigid cast after surgery3 (casting) to enable sufficient tissue healing to reduce the risk of rerupture. However an extended period of immobilisation carries the risk of adhesions and muscular atrophy, these competing risks must be balanced to provide optimal clinical care.4 More recently, studies have shown that early postoperative ankle motion and functional rehabilitation (bracing) may not increase in the rate of rerupture.5


The authors conducted a meta-analysis4 of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to compare …

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  • Contributors KP, RJC, SJK selected the systematic review, interpreted the data, and wrote the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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