Snapping Plantaris Tendon: A Rare Case in a Competitive Dancer

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2021 May 4;5(5):e21.00008. doi: 10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-21-00008.

Abstract

Pathology associated with the plantaris includes rupture of the tendon and an association with mid-substance Achilles tendinopathy in some patients. There have only been two previous case reports in the literature in English language describing snapping of the plantaris tendon. We present a case report of a 15-year-old female competitive dancer who described pain and an audible popping at the medial margin of the Achilles tendon while squatting. Physical examination revealed visible and audible popping of the plantaris, and ultrasonography confirmed the diagnosis. After symptoms persisted despite nonsurgical treatment with physical therapy, the patient underwent an open plantaris tenotomy. By 8 weeks after surgery, she had resumed dancing. Twenty-three months after her operation, she reported an excellent outcome and full recovery with no limitations to her physical activity. She reported having no pain, a Foot and Ankle Ability Measure Activities of Daily Living Subscale score of 100, and a Foot and Ankle Ability Measure Sports Subscale score of 100. This case demonstrates a successful course of treatment for this uncommon pathology within the context of a competitive dancer.