Heel rise height deficit 6 years after Achilles rupture.
Rehabilitation post Achilles tendon rupture (ATR) is ever evolving, as research continues to uncover important clinical aspects of recovery that have the ability to influence long term outcomes. The following study revealed the impact both heel rise height and tendon elongation measured 1 year after ATR have on outcomes concerning ankle biomechanics and functional tasks in the long term.
Post ATR, research into the inability to return to previous activity or sports has centered around tendon elongation, which has been correlated with decreased calf muscle strength and endurance. Variations in ankle biomechanics post ATR have also been reported having influence over functional tasks and are thought to be in relation to poor eccentric strength.
The current study sub-divided 2 groups who at 1 year post ATR either had a <15% or >30% difference in side-to-side heel rise height. Differences in ankle biomechanics, tendon length, muscle recovery, and patient reported outcomes were compared at the 6-year mark post ATR.
The >30% patient group was found to have significant deficits in power and Achilles tendon loading during walking, jogging and jumping tasks at 6 years. This group was found to have significantly less heel rise height and larger tendon length when compared to the <15% group.
> From: Brorsson et al., Am J Sports Med 45 (2017) 3060-3068. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.