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Unrecognized and untreated rupture of the Achilles tendon-operative treatment in cases of unstable scar tissue



Unrecognized and untreated rupture of the Achilles tendon-operative treatment in cases of unstable scar tissue



Der Orthopade 32(9): 816-823



Although the clinical picture of an acute rupture of the Achilles tendon is clear, it remains unrecognized or falsely evaluated in up to 10% of all cases. Wrong management without surgical intervention or adequate immobilization frequently leads to unstable scar tissue, requiring completely different therapy and rehabilitation than in the case of an acute injury. Between 6/2000 and 3/2002 11 patients (average age 53 years, M:F=9:2) with a neglected rupture of the Achilles tendon undergoing reconstruction of unstable scar tissue were evaluated in a prospective study. The preoperative cardinal symptoms were loss of strength and stress pain. The length of the unstable scar tissue measured 3.5 cm on average (2.0-6.0 cm). After resection of the scar lesion, a broad central gastrocnemius aponeurotic flap was performed in nine cases,whereas two cases underwent a central tendon shift. As a result of the surgical tendon reconstruction,we noted a 40% mean increase of strength in the final examination. This improvement was associated with less pain and a comparable range of motion. Protracted wound secretion and superficial wound necrosis were recorded on one and two occasions, respectively. Ultrasound and X-ray as preoperative imaging diagnostic tools in addition to the clinical picture appear to be sufficient for proper indication and planning of surgical intervention. The broad central aponeurotic flap has proven to be the most successful method in our patients. In cases of a short distal end, the "grip-box plasty" with a central tendon shift is indicated. Even lesions up to 6 cm can thus be repaired with autologous tissue.

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Accession: 050890183

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 14508649

DOI: 10.1007/s00132-003-0470-x


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