, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 259-264

Sonographic appearance of nonoperatively treated Achilles tendon ruptures

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Objective. This report describes the gray-scale and color Doppler sonographic appearance of healed Achilles tendon ruptures that have been treated nonoperatively.

Design and patients. Eleven patients with acute Achilles tendon ruptures were studied with sonography in the acute setting and following nonoperative management of their torn tendon.

Results. On sonographic examination, healed tendons treated nonoperatively are characterized by mild residual distortion of the normal fibrillar architecture of the tendon, anterior bulging or irregularity of the healed tendon, and a hypoechoic area about the site of rupture. Less frequent observations include mildly increased color flow and calcification at the rupture site. The previously described findings of acute tears, including hematomas, gaps at the rupture site, hyperemic torn tendon ends, and markedly distorted fibrillar architecture, were seen to have resolved in this series.

Conclusion. The Achilles tendon tear treated nonoperatively has a different sonographic appearance from that of a normal or acutely ruptured tendon.

Received: 24 November 1999 Revision requested: 23 January 2000 Revision received: 8 February 2000 Accepted: 8 February 2000