Background: Recalcitrant calcific insertional Achilles tendinopathy is difficult to treat.
Hypothesis: Bursectomy, excision of the distal paratenon, disinsertion of the tendon, removal of the calcific deposit, and reinsertion of the Achilles tendon with bone anchors is safe and effective.
Study design: Longitudinal study.
Methods: Twenty-one patients (six women) (21 feet) (average age 46.9 +/- 6.4 years) with recalcitrant calcific insertional Achilles tendinopathy were treated surgically with removal of the calcific deposit; the Achilles tendon was reinserted with bone anchors.
Results: At an average follow-up of 48.4 months, one patient necessitated a further operation. Eleven patients reported an excellent result, and five a good result. The remaining five patients could not return to their normal levels of sporting activity and kept fit by alternative means. The results of the VISA-A questionnaire were markedly improved in all patients, from an average of 62.4% to 88.1%.
Conclusions: We recommend disinsertion of the Achilles tendon to excise the calcific deposit fully and reinsertion of the Achilles tendon in the calcaneus with suture anchors. No patient experienced a traumatic disinsertion of the reattached tendon. However, five patients were not able to return to their original level of physical activity.