Mini-incision surgical procedures in our institution have been developed by decreasing the total skin incision length from the original mini half-Bunnell tendon repair technique. We hypothesized that the mini-incision, or minimum invasive Achilles tendon repair technique, would promote the tendon healing process leading to better outcomes and a reduced complication rate compared to the conventional open repair. The study sought to determine the more optimal method by comparing 44 mini-incision sutures to the 99 sutures in the original open Achilles tendon repairs. The mean skin incision length of the mini-incision surgery was 2.9 (range 2.5-3.0) cm and the original repair was 4.2 (range 3.5-7.0) cm. The mean surgery time was 60.0 minutes in the mini-incision repair and 68.1 minutes in the original one (p = .0003). The mean achievement time of bilateral heel-rise, starting jogging, single-legged heel-rise movement and the time to return-to-play was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Achilles Tendon Rupture Score was not significantly different from 3 to 9 months after surgery. Re-injury rate was 1/44 (2.3%) in mini-incision and 4/99 (4.0%) in conventional open repair (p = .36). No patients in either group developed any postoperative infections nor deep vein thrombosis complications. Although the mini-incision half-mini-Bunnell suture was showed equivalent clinical results to the original open repair, the technique is recommended in terms of curtailment of the surgery time without increase of complication ratio.
Level of Clinical Evidence
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Published online: September 18, 2021
The Kanto Rosai Hospital Institutional Review Board had reviewed and approved the survey of this retrospective study in regard to the clinical outcomes in Achilles tendon repair.
Financial Disclosure: None reported.
Conflict of Interest: There is no conflict of interest.
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