, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1187-1192
Date: 21 Aug 2009

Chronic Achilles tendon rupture reconstruction using a modified flexor hallucis longus transfer

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The purpose of this study was to report the management and outcome of 11 patients presenting with chronic Achilles tendon (AT) rupture treated by a modified flexor hallucis longus (FHL) transfer. Seven patients presented with a neglected AT rupture, one with a chronic AT rupture associated with Achilles tendinosis and three with an AT re-rupture. AT defect after fibrosis debridement averaged 7.4 cm. In addition to FHL transfer, we performed an augmentation using the two remaining fibrous scar stumps of the ruptured AT. Functional assessment was performed using the AOFAS score and isokinetic evaluation was performed to assess ankle plantarflexion torque deficit. Follow-up averaged 79 months. Functional outcome was excellent with a significant improvement of the AOFAS score at latest follow-up. No re-rupture nor major complication, particularly of wound healing, was observed. All patients presented with a loss of active range of motion of the hallux interphalangeal joint without functional weakness during athletic or daily life activities. Isokinetic testing at 30 degrees/second and 120 degrees/second revealed a significant average decrease of 28 ± 11% and 36 ± 4.1%, respectively, in plantarflexion peak torque. Although strength deficit persisted at latest follow-up, functional improvement was significant without morbidity due to FHL harvesting. For patients with chronic AT rupture with a rupture gap of at least 5 cm, surgical repair using FHL transfer with fibrous AT stump reinforcement achieved excellent outcomes.