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Results of Two Methods of Achilles' Tendon Repair

This is the first study to compare two methods of surgical treatment for Achilles' tendon rupture. Twelve patients had a percutaneous Achilles' tendon repair. Twelve others had a minimally invasive (MI) one. All patients had injured the tendon within the last seven days.

In surgery, percutaneous refers to any procedure where the skin is punctured with a needle rather than making an open cut. In this study, three pairs of 5-mm skin incisions were made along each side of the tendon. One was at the level of the rupture. The other two were above and below the injured tissue.

For the MI method, a single small incision was made at the site of the injury. A special device called am Achillon® was inserted. The Achillon® gave the surgeons a complete view of the tendon. Sutures were passed through the Achillon® and the repair was made.

Results were measured for both methods using rates of rerupture and complications. The authors also compared how much time it took to return to work or sports. They found no differences between the two groups in terms of function, satisfaction, or return to activity.

The percutaneous group had a greater loss of calf size in the injured leg. Muscle strength was not decreased in this group. The authors concluded that percutaneous and minimally invasive methods of Achilles' tendon repair give the same results.

Francesco Ceccarelli, MD, et al. Percutaneous and Minimally Invasive Techniques of Achilles Tendon Repair. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. May 2007. No. 458. Pp. 188-193.


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