[No influence of physiotherapy on outcome after open repair of achilles tendon ruptures?].
ABSTRACT Many studies have been performed to analyse the influence of surgical techniques and the postoperative aftercare after Achilles tendon ruptures on the outcome. However, there is no study investigating the influence of physiotherapy on outcome after surgical repair and standardised early functional rehabilitation of Achilles tendon rupture, so that this was the objective of the present study.
In this retrospective study, 104 patients with Achilles tendon ruptures, all treated by open repair followed by a standardised early rehabilitation, were evaluated by the Thermann score. The average age was 42 years. We could identify 3 patient groups. Group I (n=23) did not receive any physiotherapy. Group II (n=41) received physiotherapy for 3-6 weeks, and group III (n=40) received more than 6 weeks of physiotherapy. Physiotherapy consisted of 3 units per week. Each unit lasted for 30 min. All groups were compared statistically via variance analysis.
Group I scored on average 88.8 points, group II 88.6 and group III 87.0 points. There were no statistically significant differences between the three groups (p=0.50). The age of patients had also no relevant influence on the outcome (p=0.48).
Physiotherapy and age of the patients involved were not found to influence the outcome after open augmented repair of Achilles tendon ruptures followed by a standardised early rehabilitation. These results should be confirmed by a prospective randomised trial. Also elderly patients participating in demanding sport activities should receive a surgical repair.