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Br J Sports Med. 2010 Jul;44(9):673-7. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2008.052142. Epub 2008 Oct 6.

One-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial on added splinting to eccentric exercises in chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy.

Author information

1
Sports Medicine Department, The Hague Medical Centre, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study examined whether the addition of a night splint to eccentric exercises is beneficial for functional outcome in chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy.

DESIGN:

One-year follow-up of a randomised controlled single blinded clinical trial.

SETTING:

Sports medicine department in a general hospital.

PATIENTS:

58 patients (70 tendons) were included.

INTERVENTIONS:

All patients completed a 12-week heavy load eccentric training programme. One group received a night splint in addition to eccentric exercises.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:

Outcome scores were: Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment-Achilles (VISAA) score, subjective patient satisfaction and neovascularisation score measured with power Doppler ultrasonography (PDU).

RESULTS:

For both groups the VISA-A score increased significantly (from 50 to 76 (p<0.01) in the eccentric group and from 49 to 78 (p<0.01) in the night splint group). No significant differences in the VISA-A score were found between the groups from baseline to one year (p = 0.32). The presence of neovessels at baseline did not predict a change in the VISA-A score after one year in the whole group (p = 0.71).

CONCLUSION:

Eccentric exercises with or without a night splint improved functional outcome at one year follow-up. At follow-up there was no significant difference in clinical outcome when a night splint was used in addition to an eccentric exercise programme. Between 3 months and one year follow-up, a continuing increase in the VISA-A score was found. Assessment of the neovascularisation score with PDU at baseline has no prognostic value on long-term clinical outcome.

PMID:
18838406
DOI:
10.1136/bjsm.2008.052142
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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