Clinical outcomes of chronic Achilles tendon rupture treated with flexor hallucis longus grafting and flexor hallucis longus grafting plus additional augmentation: A meta-analysis

Foot Ankle Surg. 2020 Oct;26(7):717-722. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2019.09.006. Epub 2019 Sep 28.

Abstract

Background: The treatment of chronic Achilles tendon rupture is still controversial. Many surgical procedures have been proposed and claim to have good post-operative clinical outcomes. These techniques include direct repair, V-Y flap, turndown flap, peroneus brevis tendon graft, flexor digitorum longus graft, FHL graft, semitendinosus graft, gracilis tendon graft or synthetic material. The two surgical techniques that are widely used include FHL grafting and the combination of FHL grafting plus additional augmentation. This meta-analysis was conducted with the purpose of comparing clinical outcomes of flexor hallucis longus (FHL) grafting and the combination of FHL grafting with additional augmentation techniques in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendon rupture.

Methods: Systematic literature searches were conducted on Medline, Embase and Scopus from their inception to April 4, 2019, and proceedings of reference list and scientific meetings were also searched. Relevant clinical studies (e.g., observational, cross-sectional, cohort or randomized controlled trial (RCT)) that reported AOFAS (American Orthopedic Foot Ankle Score) and postoperative complications of either technique were identified.

Results: Six studies (N = 68) were included for the analysis of FHL, and six studies (N = 124) were included for analysis of FHL with augmentation. A pooling of mean and standard deviation of preoperative and postoperative AOFAS were 57.09 (3.63), 92.97 (22.67) in FHL group and 66.92 (3.16), 95.25 (4.71) in FHL with additional augmentation group respectively. The pooled UMD of AOFAS in FHL with additional augmentation were 2.28 (-1.86, 6.42) scores higher when compared to the FHL group. The prevalence of complications in FHL and FHL with additional augmentation were 14 (N = 120) and 10 (N = 63) patients. The chance of having complications of FHL with additional augmentation group was 0.74 (95% CI: 0.35, 1.56) lower than FHL group. However, there is no statistically significant difference.

Conclusions: FHL with additional augmentation group has higher foot function scores (AOFAS) and lower complications when compared to the FHL group. However this did not reach to statistically significant. Further research that assesses a larger sample size of RCTs is necessary to further evaluate FHL with additional augmentation and FHL in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendon rupture.

Keywords: Chronic Achilles tendon ruptures; FHL; FHL with augmentation; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / injuries
  • Achilles Tendon / surgery*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / transplantation*
  • Rupture
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • Tendon Transfer / methods*