Suture-Only Repair Versus Suture Anchor–Augmented Repair for Achilles Tendon Ruptures With a Short Distal Stump
Chronic noninsertional Achilles tendinosis can result in an acute Achilles tendon rupture with a short distal stump. In such tendon ruptures, there is a limited amount of adequate tissue that can hold suture, thus presenting a challenge for surgeons who elect to treat the rupture operatively.
Adding suture anchors to the repair construct may result in biomechanically stronger repairs compared with a suture-only technique.
Controlled laboratory study.
Nine paired Achilles-calcaneus complexes were harvested from cadavers. An artificial Achilles rupture was created 2 cm proximal to the insertion on the calcaneus. One specimen from each cadaver was assigned to a suture-only or a suture anchor–augmented repair. The contralateral specimen of the same cadaver received the opposing repair. Cyclic testing was then performed at 10 to 100 N for 2000 cycles, and load-to-failure testing was performed at 0.2 mm/s. This was followed by analysis of repair displacement, gapping at repair site, peak load to failure, and failure mode.
The suture anchor–augmented repair exhibited a 116% lower displacement compared with the suture-only repair (mean ± SD, 1.54 ± 1.13 vs 3.33 ± 1.47 mm, respectively; P < .03). The suture anchor–augmented repair also exhibited a 45% greater load to failure compared with the suture-only repair (303.50 ± 102.81 vs 209.09 ± 48.12 N, respectively; P < .04).
Suture anchor–augmented repairs performed on acute Achilles tendon ruptures with a short distal stump are biomechanically stronger than suture-only repairs.
Our results support the use of suture anchor–augmented repairs for a biomechanically stronger construct in Achilles tendon ruptures with a short distal stump. Biomechanically stronger repairs may lead to less tendon repair gapping and failure, increasing the ability to start early active rehabilitation protocols and thus improving patient outcomes.
McMellen, C. J.,
Gould, G. C.,
& Laughlin, R.
(2017). Suture-Only Repair Versus Suture Anchor–Augmented Repair for Achilles Tendon Ruptures With a Short Distal Stump. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 5 (1), 2325967116678722.