Morphological and functional outcomes of operatively treated Achilles tendon ruptures

Nicholson, Gareth, Walker, Josh, Bissas, Athanassios ORCID: 0000-0002-7858-9623 and Harris, Nick (2020) Morphological and functional outcomes of operatively treated Achilles tendon ruptures. Physician and Sportsmedicine, 48 (3). pp. 290-297. doi:10.1080/00913847.2019.1685364

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7906 Nicholon, G., Walker, J., Bissas, A., Harris, N. (2019) Morphological Functional Outcomes Operatively Treated Achilles Tendon Ruptures.pdf - Accepted Version
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Objectives: Achilles tendon rupture leads to functional impairments and these may be underpinned by morphological changes in the muscle-tendon unit. Functional performance of the injured limb will be impaired regardless of time since surgery and these impairments occur alongside changes in muscle-tendon morphology. Methods: Following operative treatment of Achilles tendon rupture and short term immobilisation, 12 patients completed a battery of tests during a single visit to the laboratory (performed an average of 4.4 ± 2.6 years post-surgery). Patients completed the Achilles’ tendon rupture score (ATRS), tests of ankle and hip range of motion (ROM) and ultrasound measurements of muscle-tendon architecture. Data on isokinetic (30 o/s, 60 o/s) plantar flexion strength, jumping performance and walking-running were also collected on the same visit. Percentage deficits were expressed relative to the non-injured limb and determined for statistical significance (p < 0.05). Relationships between outcomes measures and time since surgery were tested using Pearson’s correlation coefficients (p < 0.05). Results: The repaired limb showed a shorter muscle fascicle length (12.1-19.6%), increased fascicle pennation (18.0±22.14%) and reduced muscle thickness (9.1-20.1%) in the gastrocnemius and/or soleus along with greater tendon cross-sectional area (46.7±34.47%). Functionally, the repaired limb displayed lower countermovement jump height (-12.6±15.68%) and longer drop jump contact times (5.5±5.7%). Also, the repaired limb showed reduced hip internal-external ROM (6.3±8.2%) but no differences existed between limbs for plantar flexion ROM and strength or gait characteristics. Good ATRS outcomes were reported (mean: 87.9±16.2, range: 43-100) which related to time since surgery (r=0.79) but individual ATRS items did not correlate with corresponding objective measures. Conclusion: Plantar flexor atrophy following surgically treated Achilles tendon rupture is partially compensated for by remodelling of the fascicles however, impairments may still persist many years into the postoperative period although these may be more pronounced in high-velocity activities.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Isokinetic; ATRS; Muscle Morphology; Gait
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV1060 Track and field athletics
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Kate Greenaway
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 16:25
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:07

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