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Acute Achilles Tendon Ruptures: An Update on Treatment

Acute rupture of the Achilles tendon is common and seen most frequently in people who participate in recreational athletics into their thirties and forties. Although goals of treatment have not changed in the past 15 years, recent studies of nonsurgical management, specifically functional bracing with early range of motion, demonstrate rerupture rates similar to those of tendon repair and result in fewer wound and soft-tissue complications. Satisfactory outcomes may be obtained with nonsurgical or surgical treatment. Newer surgical techniques, including limited open and percutaneous repair, show rerupture rates similar to those of open repair but lower overall complication rates. Early research demonstrates no improvement in functional outcomes or tendon properties with the use of platelet-rich plasma, but promising results with the use of bone marrow–derived stem cells have been seen in animal models. Further investigation is necessary to warrant routine use of biologic adjuncts in the management of acute Achilles tendon ruptures.

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