Combined conservative and orthotic management of acute ruptures of the Achilles tendon

RGH Wallace, IER Traynor, George Kernohan, MHA Eames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There has been considerable debate about the best treatment for acute rupture of the Achilles tendon. At our institution, a well-documented and structured program of nonoperative management of Achilles tendon rupture with use of casts and a removable orthosis was developed. Methods: We assessed the results in 140 consecutive patients with a complete rupture of the Achilles tendon who had been treated with our nonoperative regimen at our center between 1992 and 1998. Patients were evaluated on the basis of the subjective results and clinically with physiological testing. Results: Overall, 56% of our patients had an excellent result; 30%, good; 12%, fair; and 2%, poor. The overall complication rate was 8%, with three complete and five partial tendon reruptures, two deep vein thromboses, and one temporary dropfoot. Conclusions: The results of our nonoperative orthotic treatment were better overall than published results of operative repair of acute Achilles tendon rupture. Our patients were quite satisfied with their treatment. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study, Level IV (case series [no, or historical, control group]). See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1202
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jun 2004


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