Severe Functional Debilitations After Complications Associated With Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture With 9 Years of Follow-Up

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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the long-term effect of deep infection, sural nerve injury, and repeat rupture in the treatment of acute Achilles tendon rupture. A total of 324 patients had made a claim to the Danish Patient Insurance Association from 1992 to 2010 for a complication after acute Achilles tendon rupture. Of the 324 patients, 119 (36.7%) (77 [64.7%] males and 42 [35.3%] females) returned the Achilles tendon total rupture score and the 36-item short-form survey questionnaires. Patients with deep infection (n = 10), sural nerve injury (n = 10), and repeat rupture (n = 16) participated in a follow-up investigation. The mean follow-up period was 8.9 (range 3 to 21) years. The mean Achilles tendon total rupture score was 49 ± 27. The summary scores of the physical component and mental components scales of the 36-item Short Form Survey were 43 ± 11 and 52 ± 11, respectively. No significant differences were found among the subpopulations with deep infection, injury to the sural nerve, or repeat rupture. The physical evaluation investigating tendon length and heel rise work revealed a statistically significant difference between the affected and unaffected limb after repeat rupture (p < .01) but not after injury to the sural nerve (p > .05) or deep infection (p > .05). In conclusion, patients with from a complication after acute Achilles tendon rupture had a remarkable reduction of the Achilles tendon total rupture score and physical component scale score at mean follow-up point of 9 years. Patients with repeat rupture had a significant elongation of the tendon and reduction of strength in the affected limb.

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