Author(s): Jiang N, Wang B, Chen A, Dong F, Yu B
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Abstract PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate, in a meta-analysis, the clinical effectiveness of operative treatment for acute Achilles tendon rupture (AATR) compared with nonoperative treatment. METHODS: We systematically searched six electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Clinical Ovid, BIOSIS and Cochrane registry of controlled clinical trials) to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which operative treatment was compared with nonoperative treatment for AATR from 1980 to 2011. Trial quality was assessed using the modified Jadad scale. The data was using fixed-effects and random-effects models with mean differences and risk ratios for continuous and dichotomous variables, respectively. RESULTS: Ten RCTs with a total of 894 patients were screened. The results showed that operative was superior to nonoperative treatment regarding lower risk of re-rupture (P = 0.002) and shorter time for sick leave (P = 0.009) but inferior to nonoperative treatment regarding complication risks (P = 0.004). No significant difference was identified between the two methods regarding the number of patients who successfully returned to pre-injury sports (P = 0.30). Subgroup analyses revealed significant differences in relation to scar adhesion (P < 0.00001), superficial infection (P = 0.05), and sensibility disturbance (P = 0.0003). However, no significant differences were found between the two interventions in relation to deep infection (P = 0.22), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (P = 0.14), and extreme Achilles tendon lengthening (P = 0.31). Little consensus was obtained in the functional recovery from current trials as a result of an inconsistent assessment system. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with conservative treatment, operative treatment can effectively reduce the risk of re-rupture but increase the probability of complications. The increased complication risk may be associated with open repair surgery. However, no sufficient evidence is available from current studies to support the belief that operation may lead to better functional recovery.
This article was published in Int Orthop
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies