Acute Ruptures of the Achilles Tendon

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Abstract

The Achilles tendon (AT) is the most frequently ruptured tendon in the human body, but the etiology of AT ruptures is still not completely understood. Percutaneous repair and conservative management are viable alternatives to open surgery, which carries higher complication rates and is the most costly of the 3 management options. Individual patients will have different needs due to their age, occupation, or level of sporting activity. If the studies reporting a rising incidence of AT rupture are accurate, the field of AT surgery will become an increasingly important one for orthopedic surgeons. A major problem in the evaluation of the outcome of management of AT ruptures has been the lack of a universally accepted scoring system for the evaluation of results of management of AT rupture. The AT Total Rupture Score is a self-administered instrument with high clinical utility, and it can be used for measuring the outcome, related to symptoms and physical activity, after treatment in patients with a total AT rupture. Future developments may include the use of adhesives in tendon surgery. An understanding of the role, which cytokines play in tendon healing may also lead to the advent of new treatments, possibly based on gene therapy. However, such novel interventions are unlikely to be in routine clinical use for some time.

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