Evaluation of the ankle function after Achilles tendon resection: a retrospective clinical study

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



INTRODUCTION: The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body and has the function of plantar ankle flexion. When the tendon is exposed, the peritendineum has been breached and the thick avascular tendon colonized with bacteria, a complete resection of the tendon may be indicated to achieve infection control and facilitate wound closure. The Achilles tendon reconstruction is not mandatory, as the plantar flexion of the ankle joint is assumed by the remaining flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum longus and tibialis posterior muscles. Our study aimed to evaluate the impact of Achilles tendon resection without reconstruction on leg function and quality of life.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated all patients who were treated with an Achilles tendon resection between January 2017 and June 2022 in our quaternary institution. After evaluating the data, the patients who survived and were not amputated were contacted for re-evaluation, which included isokinetic strength measurement of both ankle joints, evaluation of the ankle range of motion and collection of several functional scores.

RESULTS: Thirty patients were included in the retrospective study, with a mean age of 70.3 years, including 11 women and 19 men. The most frequent cause of the infection was leg ulcer (43.3%), followed by open tendon suture (23.3%). No tendon reconstruction was performed. Fifteen patients could be gained for reevaluation. The average difference in ankle flexion torque on the injured side compared to the healthy side at 30 degrees/second was 57.49% (p = 0.003) and at 120 degrees/second was 53.13% (p = 0.050) while the difference in power was 45.77% (p = 0.025) at 30 degrees/second and 38.08% (p = 0.423) at 120 degrees/second. The follow-up time was between 4 and 49 months and a positive correlation could be determined between the time elapsed from surgery and the ankle joint strength. There was a significant loss of range of motion on the operated side compared to the healthy side: 37.30% for plantar flexion, 24.56% for dorsal extension, 27.79% for pronation and 24.99% for supination. The average Lepillhati Score was 68.33, while the average American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Score was 74.53.

CONCLUSION: The complete Achilles tendon resection leaves the patient with satisfactory leg function and an almost normal gait. Especially in elderly, multimorbid patients, straightforward tendon resection and wound closure provide fast infection control with acceptable long-term results. Further prospective studies should compare the ankle function and gait in patients with and without Achilles tendon reconstruction after complete resection.


Seiten (von - bis)1243-1257
FachzeitschriftArchives of orthopaedic and trauma surgery
Frühes Online-Datum17 Jan. 2024
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - März 2024

Externe IDs

Scopus 85182434850
ORCID /0000-0003-4633-2695/work/151982794


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • Prospective Studies, Humans, Achilles Tendon/surgery, Male, Treatment Outcome, Ankle Joint/surgery, Ankle/surgery, Tendon Transfer/methods, Rupture/surgery, Quality of Life, Female, Aged, Retrospective Studies