Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Return-to-play and performance after operative treatment of Achilles tendon rupture in elite male athletes: a scoping review
  1. Christopher M LaPrade,
  2. Deepak V Chona,
  3. Mark E Cinque,
  4. Michael T Freehill,
  5. Timothy R McAdams,
  6. Geoffrey D Abrams,
  7. Seth L Sherman,
  8. Marc R Safran
  1. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, Redwood City, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marc R Safran, Orthopedic Surgery, Stanford University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Redwood City, California, USA; msafran{at}


Objective To examine the current evidence regarding return-to-play (RTP) and performance after Achilles tendon rupture in elite athletes treated with operative intervention.

Design Scoping review.

Data sources Published sources identified through a PubMed search of elite athletes, defined as professional or division one collegiate athletes in baseball, basketball, American football or soccer.

Methods Our search yielded a total of 2402 studies, with 13 studies fulfilling the study criteria of reporting elite athletes with objective measures of their athletic performance. A total of 709 elite athletes were included from the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball (MLB), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football and professional soccer.

Results and discussion Overall, 61%–100% of elite male athletes RTP after Achilles tendon rupture and operative repair. NBA players had inferior performance compared with their preoperative status as well as controls of non-injured players. Studies did not show significantly different performance after Achilles injury for MLB players. Professional soccer, NFL and NCAA football studies reported varying performance after injury.

Conclusions Evidence suggests that sports with explosive plantarflexion demands, such as basketball, may be associated with a greater decrease in performance despite operative intervention after Achilles rupture.

  • Achilles tendon
  • athletic injuries
  • athletic performance
  • basketball
  • football

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors All the authors have made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the article or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the article; drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content; approved the version to be published; agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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