Persistent Deficits after an Achilles Tendon Rupture: A Narrative Review

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Persistent muscle weakness, tendon elongation, and incomplete return to preinjury level are frequent sequelae after acute Achilles tendon rupture, and evidence-based knowledge of how to best rehabilitate the injury is largely absent in the literature. The objective of this review is to illuminate and discuss to what extent an Achilles tendon rupture affects muscle, tendon, and function when assessed with the Achilles tendon total rupture score (ATRS), muscle strength, muscle cross-sectional area, tendon length, and the heel-rise test. The patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) data in the literature suggest that the recovery takes longer than 6 months (ATRS, 70 out of 100), that one-year postinjury, the ATRS only reaches 82, and that this does not appear to noticeably improve thereafter. Loss of muscle mass, strength, and function can in some cases be permanent. Over the first 6 months postinjury, the tendon undergoes elongation, which appears to be negatively correlated to heel-rise function. More recently, there has been some interest in how muscle length and excursion is related to the reduced function. The available literature indicates that further research is highly warranted and that efforts to restore normal tendon length may improve the likelihood of returning to preinjury level after an Achilles tendon rupture.

TidsskriftTranslational Sports Medicine
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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© 2022 Rikke Hoeffner et al.

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