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Disabil Rehabil. 2008;30(20-22):1685-91. doi: 10.1080/09638280701786658.

Eccentric exercises for the management of tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon with or without the AirHeel Brace. A randomized controlled trial. A: effects on pain and microcirculation.

Author information

1
Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Germany. kknobi@yahoo.com

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To compare eccentric training and the combination of eccentric training with the AirHeel Brace for the management of tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon.

METHODS:

We recruited 116 subjects with unilateral tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon, who were randomized in two groups. Group A performed a regimen of daily eccentric training associated with the AirHeel Brace (Donjoy Orthopedics, Vista, CA, USA). Group B performed the same eccentric training without the AirHeel Brace. Tendon microcirculatory mapping was performed using combined Laser-Doppler and spectrophotometry. Pre- and post-operative FAOS score and VAS score were used to evaluate the patients.

RESULTS:

The FAOS score and the VAS score showed significant improvements from pre-operative to post-operative values in both groups (A 5.1 +/- 2 vs. 2.9 +/- 2.4, 43% reduction and B: 5.4 +/- 2.1 vs. 3.6 +/- 2.4, 33% reduction, both p = 0.0001). There were no statistically significant differences in FAOS score and VAS score when comparing the two groups after the end of the intervention. In Group A, tendon oxygen saturation in the main body of the Achilles tendon showed significant increase from pre- to post-management values (68 +/- 12 vs.74 +/- 8%, p = 0.003). Post-capillary venous filling pressures showed significant reduction from pre- to post-intervention values.

CONCLUSION:

Eccentric training, associated or not with the AirHeel Brace, produces the same effect in patients with tendinopathy of the main body of the Achilles tendon. The combination of eccentric training with the AirHeel Brace can optimize tendon microcirculation, but these micro-circulator advantages do not translate into superior clinical performance when compared with eccentric training alone.

PMID:
18720121
DOI:
10.1080/09638280701786658
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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