Research Article| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, P628-631, July 2019

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Comparison Between Early Functional Rehabilitation and Cast Immobilization After Minimally Invasive Repair for an Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture


      The purpose of the present study was to compare the outcomes of patients with Achilles tendon rupture treated with minimally invasive repair and early functional rehabilitation with the outcomes of similar patients treated with cast immobilization. After undergoing minimally invasive surgery, a below-knee splint with the foot in 30° of plantarflexion was applied to each patient for the first week. Patients were then assigned to a cast immobilization group (IG; n = 25) or a functional group (FG; n = 16). Data were collected during outpatient checks at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. Outcomes of interest included range of motion (ROM), heel height, calf circumference, pain and functional score, return to work and light sports activity, and complications. The time interval for return to work in the FG was faster than that in the IG (p = .026). There was no clinically important difference between the 2 groups with regard to heel height, ROM, return to sports, calf circumference, visual analog scale, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score, or Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score at every outpatient check except ROM difference at 6 weeks and heel height at 3 months. Rerupture occurred in 2 patients (1 [4%] in the IG and 1 [6.25%] in the FG). Early functional rehabilitation seemed to be as safe as traditional postoperative immobilization with a similar functional result and complications, but it was advantageous for the early phase of rehabilitation only.

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