Purpose: To evaluate the outcome after percutaneous repair followed by accelerated rehabilitation for acute Achilles tendon ruptures.
Methods: 21 men and 9 women (mean age, 41 years) underwent percutaneous repair by a single senior surgeon for acute Achilles tendon ruptures, followed by early weight bearing and accelerated rehabilitation. Outcome measures included the Achilles tendon re-rupture rate, the Achilles tendon total rupture score (ATRS) at 3 and 6 months, the incidence of sural nerve injury, wound infection, wound dehiscence, patient satisfaction, and the time to return to pre-rupture activity.
Results: The mean follow-up period was 12.5 months. The mean ATRS score improved from 57.65 at 3 months to 86.95 at 6 months (p<0.001). No patient had intra-operative complications, tendon re-rupture, sural nerve injury, wound dehiscence, or deep infection. Two patients developed a superficial wound infection, which was resolved with oral flucloxacillin. Two patients had a mass at the transverse incision, but neither had any symptoms or functional restriction. All patients were able to bear full weight comfortably without the walker boot at 8 weeks, and return to their work by 3 months. The mean time to return to pre-rupture activity, including sports, was 10.4 months. The mean satisfaction rate was 87% at 6 months.
Conclusion: Percutaneous repair of the Achilles tendon followed by early weight bearing and accelerated rehabilitation achieves good functional outcome.
Keywords: Achilles tendon; rupture.