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Br J Sports Med. 2002 Jun;36(3):178-82.

Surgical treatment for chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a prospective seven month follow up study.

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Department of Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, PO Box 607, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland.



To prospectively assess the early results of surgical treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy.


This seven month prospective follow up study assessed the short term results of surgical treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy and compared the subjective and functional outcome of patients with Achilles tendinopathy without a local intratendinous lesion (group A) with that of similar patients with such a lesion (group B). Forty two of the initial 50 patients were examined before surgery and after the seven month follow up. Evaluation included an interview, subjective evaluation, clinical tests, and a performance test.


At the follow up, physical activity was fully restored in 28 of the 42 patients (67%), and 35 patients (83%) were asymptomatic or had only mild pain during strenuous exercise. In clinical tests, significant improvements were observed in climbing up and down stairs and the rising on the toes test. Surgical treatment also seemed to be successful from the total test score, which was excellent or good in 35 patients, compared with before surgery when it was excellent or good in one patient only. Patients in group A fared better than those in group B, whether evaluated by recovery of physical activity after surgery (88% v 54%) or the complication rate (6% v 27%).


Surgical treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy gives good and acceptable short term results. A lower complication rate and a trend to better recovery was observed in patients with peritendinous adhesions only than in those with peritendinous adhesions combined with an intratendinous lesion.

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