Management of Chronic Ruptures of the Achilles Tendon

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Abstract

Chronic ruptures of Achilles tendons are those that present four to six weeks after the original injury. They have become more common as acute Achilles tendon injuries have become more frequent, and they are associated with considerable functional morbidity.

Most surgeons agree that chronic ruptures should be managed operatively.

Diagnosis is based predominantly on history and clinical examination. Real-time, high-resolution ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging are helpful in preoperative planning or as a diagnostic aid.

Local tissue, local tendons, and allografts can be used to reconstruct the tendon, and end-to-end repair is possible if the gap is <2.5 cm.

Compared with acute injuries, chronic injuries are associated with a higher rate of postoperative infection and more prolonged recovery.

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