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      Interlocking horizontal mattress suture versus Kakiuchi technique in repair of Achilles tendon rupture: a biomechanical study


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          In recent years, the type of surgical treatment for Achilles tendon rupture has been the subject of controversial debate. This biomechanical study evaluates for the first time in literature the ultimate failure load (UFL) of interlocking horizontal mattress (IHM) suture as compared with Kakiuchi suture in Achilles tendon rupture. The hypothesis is that IHM suture can be performed also for Achilles tendon rupture and ensures higher resistance compared with the traditional Kakiuchi suture.

          Materials and methods

          Twenty fresh bovine Achilles tendons were obtained. Ten preparations were randomly assigned to each of two different groups: group A (10 specimens) sutured by IHM technique, and group B (10 specimens) sutured by Kakiuchi technique. Each construct was mounted and fixed on a tensile testing machine. Static preconditioning of 50 N was applied for 5 min as initial tensioning to stabilize the mechanical properties of the graft, then a load to failure test was performed at crosshead speed of 500 mm/min.


          Ten specimens were tested for each group. The mean UFL was 228.6 ± 98.6 N in the IHM suture group and 96.57 ± 80.1 N in the Kakiuchi suture group. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference ( p < 0.05) with better UFL in the IHM group. In both groups, the failure mode registered in each specimen was suture breakage (rupture of suture thread).


          IHM suture achieved better UFL compared with Kakiuchi suture in an animal model of Achilles tendon repair. These results seem to support IHM as a valid option in Achilles tendon rupture.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Early motion of the ankle after operative treatment of a rupture of the Achilles tendon. A prospective, randomized clinical and radiographic study.

          Different regimens of early motion of the ankle after operative treatment of a ruptured Achilles tendon have been suggested since the late 1980s. However, as far as we know, no controlled studies comparing these regimens with conventional immobilization in a cast have been reported. In a prospective study, seventy-one patients who had an acute rupture of the Achilles tendon were randomized to either conventional postoperative management with a cast for eight weeks or early restricted motion of the ankle in a below-the-knee brace for six weeks. The brace was modified with an elastic band on the posterior surface, in a manner similar to the principle of Kleinert traction. Metal markers were placed in the tendon, and the separation between them was measured on serial radiographs during the first twelve weeks postoperatively. The patients were assessed clinically when the cast or brace was removed, at twelve weeks postoperatively, and at a median of sixteen months postoperatively. The separation between the markers at twelve weeks postoperatively was nearly identical in the two groups, with a median separation of 11.5 millimeters (range, zero to thirty-three millimeters) in the patients managed with early motion of the ankle and nine millimeters (range, one to forty-one millimeters) in the patients managed with a cast. The separation was primarily correlated with the initial tautness of the repair (r[S] = 0.45). No patient had excessive lengthening of the tendon. The patients managed with early motion had a smaller initial loss in the range of motion, and they returned to work and sports activities sooner than those managed with a cast. Furthermore, there were fewer visible adhesions between the repaired tendon and the skin in the patients managed with early motion, and these patients were subjectively more satisfied with the overall result. The patients in both groups recovered a median of 89 percent of strength of plantar flexion compared with that of the noninjured limb, as measured with an isometric strain-gauge at 15 degrees of dorsiflexion. The heel-rise index was similar for both groups: 0.88 for the patients managed with early motion and 0.89 for those managed with a cast. Early restricted motion appears to shorten the time needed for rehabilitation. There were no complications related to early motion in these patients. However, early unloaded exercises did not prevent muscle atrophy.
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            Changing incidence of Achilles tendon rupture in Scotland: a 15-year study.

            To determine the incidence of Achilles tendon rupture in Scotland from 1980 to 1995. Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Data were obtained from the National Health Service Information and Statistics Division and analyzed in terms of age- and gender-specific incidence rates and time trends by age group. A total of 4,201 patients with Achilles tendon ruptures occurring during the study period. Calculation of incidence and of seasonality. The overall incidence of Achilles tendon rupture increased from 4.7/100,000 in 1981 to 6/100,000 in 1994, with a peak in 1986. In men, the incidence rose from 6.3/100,000 to 7.3/100,000. In women, the increase in incidence was more pronounced, from 3/100,000 to 4.7/100,000. In men, peak incidence rate occurred in the 30- to 39-year age group, whereas in women, the peak age-specific incidence occurred in those aged 80 years and older, with a steady increase after age 60. There was no evidence of a seasonality effect in the rate of occurrence of Achilles tendon rupture. A bimodal distribution of age at time of Achilles tendon rupture was noted. There was a significant increase in the incidence of Achilles tendon rupture during the period from 1980 to 1995. This reflects the increased incidence of the injury noted in other Northern European countries.
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              Operative versus nonoperative treatment of Achilles tendon rupture. A prospective randomized study and review of the literature.

              One hundred eleven patients with acute rupture of the Achilles tendon were included in a prospective trial and randomly assigned to groups for operative (56 patients) or nonoperative (55 patients) treatment. All of the patients were followed with clinic evaluations at 4 months and 1 year after the rupture. The major complications in the operative treatment group were three reruptures and two deep infections as compared with seven reruptures, one second rerupture, and one extreme residual lengthening of the tendon in the nonoperative group. There were fewer minor complications in the nonoperative group than in the operative group. The operatively treated patients had a significantly higher rate of resuming sports activities at the same level, a lesser degree of calf atrophy, better ankle movement, and fewer complaints 1 year after the accident. The conclusion we reached through this randomized prospective study is that operative treatment of ruptured Achilles tendons is preferable, but nonoperative treatment is an acceptable alternative.

                Author and article information

                3934425123 , proiettilorenzo@hotmail.com
                J Orthop Traumatol
                J Orthop Traumatol
                Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology : Official Journal of the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                15 March 2017
                15 March 2017
                September 2017
                : 18
                : 3
                : 251-257
                GRID grid.415230.1, Azienda Ospedaliera Sant’Andrea Via di Grottarossa, ; 1035/1039, 00189 Rome, Italy
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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