This review highlights recent research on Achilles tendon healing, and comments on the current clinical controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of injury. The processes of Achilles tendon healing, as demonstrated through changes in its structure, composition, and biomechanics, are reviewed. Finally, a review of tendon developmental biology and mechano transductive pathways is completed to recognize recent efforts to augment injured Achilles tendons, and to suggest potential future strategies for therapeutic intervention and functional tissue engineering. Despite an abundance of clinical evidence suggesting that current treatments and rehabilitation strategies for Achilles tendon ruptures are equivocal, significant questions remain to fully elucidate the basic science mechanisms governing Achilles tendon injury, healing, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Keywords: Achilles tendon rupture; biomechanics; developmental biology; foot and ankle; injury; tendinopathy; tissue engineering.