Basic science and clinical aspects of achilles tendinopathy.

Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Wales, Heath Park Cardiff, UK.
Sports medicine and arthroscopy review (Impact Factor: 1.16). 10/2009; 17(3):190-7. DOI: 10.1097/JSA.0b013e3181b37eb7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Achilles tendinopathy is one of the common disorders seen in athletes. It is a degenerative rather than an inflammatory, condition. There is a lifetime risk of 52% in former elite male distance runners. This condition is difficult to manage and up to 29% of Achilles tendinopathy patients may require surgery. It often results in chronic pain and discomfort along with failure to regain full function. It can be complicated by partial tears or complete rupture causing long-term burden on healthcare system and making treatment quite difficult.

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    ABSTRACT: Although eccentric exercise training has shown favorable results in chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy, the optimum dosage remains unknown. A systematic review of the literature was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines, in order to describe different exercise protocols and to determine the most effective training parameters. An extensive search in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and CENTRAL revealed 14 randomized and clinical controlled trials. Strong evidence was found for the Alfredson exercise protocol. In this 12-week protocol, exercises are performed 3 × 15 repetitions twice daily, both with a straight and bent knee. Exercises are performed at slow speed, and load is increased when exercises are without pain. Strong evidence was also found for gradual onset of exercises during the first week of the Alfredson program, but no uniformity of protocols exists. Other exercise protocols did achieve similar results, but many studies had some methodological shortcomings or lacked a detailed description of their training parameters. Because of the heterogeneity of study populations and outcome measures, and lack of reporting of training compliance data, a definitive conclusion regarding the most effective training parameters could not be made. Further research comparing the content of different exercise protocols is warranted.
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    ABSTRACT: Several pharmacological interventions have been proposed for the management of Achilles tendinopathy, with no agreement on which is the overall best option available. This systematic review investigates the efficacy and safety of different local pharmacological treatments for Achilles tendinopathy. We included only randomized controlled studies (RCTs) focusing on clinical and functional outcomes of therapies consisting in injection of a substance or local application. Assessment of the methodological quality was performed using a modified version of the Coleman methodology score (CMS) to determine possible risks of bias. Thirteen RCTs were included with a total of 528 studied patients. Eleven studies reported the outcomes of injection therapies. Two studies examined the outcomes of patients who applied glyceryl trinitrate patch. The mean modified CMS was 70.6 out of 90. There was no significant evidence of remarkable benefits provided by any of the therapies studied. There is not univocal evidence to advise any particular pharmacological treatment as the best advisable non-operative option for Achilles tendinopathy as equivalent alternative to the most commonly used eccentric loading rehabilitation program. However, potential was shown by the combination of different substances administered with physical therapy. There is a need for more long-term investigations, studying large enough cohort with standardized scores and evaluations shared by all the investigations to confirm the healing potential, and provide a stronger statistical comparison of the available treatments. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
    British Medical Bulletin 01/2015; · 4.36 Impact Factor


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May 16, 2014