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Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 132, Issue 6, pp 847–853 | Cite as

Analysis of hereditary and medical risk factors in Achilles tendinopathy and Achilles tendon ruptures: a matched pair analysis

  • Robert KraemerEmail author
  • Waldemar Wuerfel
  • Johan Lorenzen
  • Marc Busche
  • Peter M. Vogt
  • Karsten Knobloch
Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine

Abstract

Objective

In Achilles tendon injuries, it is suggested that a pathological continuum might be evident from the healthy Achilles tendon to Achilles tendinopathy to Achilles tendon rupture. As such, risk factors for both tendinopathy and rupture should be the same.

Hypothesis

Hereditary and medical risk factors for Achilles tendinopathy and Achilles tendon rupture are the same to a similar extent in a matched pair analysis.

Design

Matched pair study; level of evidence: 3.

Setting

Recreational sportsmen as well as athletes on national level.

Patients

566 questionnaires were analysed. 310 subjects were allocated to 3 groups (A, B, C) after matching the pairs for age, weight, height and gender: (A) healthy Achilles tendons (n = 89, age 39 ± 11 years, BMI 25.1 ± 3.9, females 36%), (B) chronic Achilles tendinopathy (n = 161, age 41 ± 11 years, BMI 24.4 ± 3.7, females 34%), (C) acute Achilles tendon rupture (n = 60, age 40 ± 9 years, BMI 25.2 ± 3.2, females 27%).

Results

We found a positive family history of Achilles tendinopathy as a risk factor for Achilles tendinopathy (OR: 4.8, 95% CI: 1.1–21.4; p = 0.023), but not for Achilles tendon rupture (OR: 4.0, 95% CI 0.7–21.1, p = 0.118). Smoking and cardiac diseases had a lower incidence in Achilles tendinopathy than in healthy subjects (both p = 0.001), while cardiovascular medication did not change the risk profile.

Conclusion

Identifying risk factors associated with Achilles tendon disorders has a high clinical relevance regarding the development and implementation of prevention strategies and programs. This cross-sectional study identified a positive family history as a significant solitary risk factor for Achilles tendinopathy, increasing the risk fivefold. However, in this matched pair analysis excluding age, weight, height and gender as risk factors no further factor necessarily increases the risk for either Achilles tendinopathy or Achilles tendon rupture.

Keywords

Achilles tendon injury Risk factors Family history Achilles tendinopathy Achilles tendon rupture 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Kraemer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Waldemar Wuerfel
    • 2
  • Johan Lorenzen
    • 3
  • Marc Busche
    • 1
  • Peter M. Vogt
    • 1
  • Karsten Knobloch
    • 1
  1. 1.Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive SurgeryHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Department of OtolaryngologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Department of NephrologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany

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