, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 204-209
Date: 08 Dec 2007

Open versus percutaneous repair in the treatment of acute Achilles tendon rupture: a randomized prospective study

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Abstract

There is no agreement on the ideal type of surgical management for Achilles tendon rupture. The present randomized prospective study was performed to compare outcome data of open and percutaneous repair in the treatment of Achilles tendon rupture. Forty consecutive patients with acute rupture of Achilles tendon were recruited. Patients were randomized to receive open (group A) or percutaneous repair with Tenolig® (group B). All patients followed the same rehabilitation protocol except for slight differences in the duration of immobilization. Follow-up included objective evaluation (at 4 and 12 months), subjective evaluation using the SF-12® questionnaire (at 24 months), and bilateral ultrasound scanning and isokinetic testing (at 12 months). The differences in the parameters evaluated clinically were not significant except for ankle circumference, which was significantly greater in group B. There were two minor complications in the open repair group and one case of failed repair in the percutaneous group. SF-12® questionnaire, ultrasound and isokinetic test data did not show significant differences between the groups. The present study demonstrates that the open and the percutaneous technique are both safe and effective in repairing the ruptured Achilles tendon and that both afford the same degree of restoration of clinical, ultrasound and isokinetic patterns. Medium-term results were substantially comparable. Percutaneous repair is performed on a day-surgery basis, it reduces cutaneous complications and operation times, and enables faster recovery, enhancing overall patient compliance. To us, these characteristics make it preferable to open repair in managing subcutaneous ruptures of Achilles tendon in non-professional sports practicing adults.