Surgical treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures: the comparison of open and percutaneous methods in a rabbit model

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2014 Sep;20(5):311-8. doi: 10.5505/tjtes.2014.42716.


Background: This study was intended to investigate the healing properties of open and percutaneous techniques in a rabbit model and compare histological, electron microscopical, and biomechanical findings of the healed tendon between the groups.

Methods: Twenty-six rabbits were randomly assigned to two groups of thirteen rabbits each. Percutaneous tenotomy of the Achilles tendon (AT) was applied through a stab incision on the right side 1.5 cm above the calcaneal insertion in all animals. Using the same Bunnell suture, the first group was repaired with the open and the second group was repaired with the percutaneous method. ATs were harvested at the end of eight weeks for biomechanical and histological evaluation.

Results: When the sections were evaluated for fibrillar density under electron microscopy, it was noted that fibrils were more abundant in the percutaneous repair group. The tendon scores in the percutaneous group were less than the open group indicating closer histological morphology to normal. The difference was not significant (p=0.065). The mean force to rupture the tendon was 143.7± 9.5 N in percutaneous group and 139.2±8.2 N in the open group. The difference was not significant (p=0.33).

Conclusion: Percutaneous techniques provide as good clinical results as the open techniques do. The healing tendon shows better findings in histological and electron microscopical level with percutaneous technique.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / injuries*
  • Achilles Tendon / surgery
  • Animals
  • Models, Animal
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Rabbits
  • Random Allocation
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • Wound Healing