New Study Finds Nonsurgical and Surgical Treatment of Achilles Tendon Ruptures to Result in Similar Outcomes

An important new literature review of achilles tendon rupture treatment found that surgical versus nonsurgical treatment produced essentially similar outcomes. The injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) at the injury site was not found to have any clear benefits. The lead author of this latest report was Dr. Anish Kadakia, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine in the US.

Some of the other interesting findings:

  • Recent research has found that there is no difference in re-rupture rates between functional rehabilitation versus minimally invasive surgical repair of achilles tendon ruptures.
  • In the long term, patients undergoing functional rehabilitation saw similar outcomes in comparison to those opting for surgical treatment when it comes to ankle range of motion; strength; calf circumference; or functional outcome scores.
  • However, patients undergoing surgery did have a small but statistically significant increase in plantar flexion strength at one and two years after surgical repair. This would make surgery potentially advantageous for high-performance athletes.