Surgical Treatment Versus Conservative Management for Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Research paper by Senlin S Deng, Zhengyu Z Sun, Chenghao C Zhang, Gang G Chen, Jian J Li

Indexed on: 29 Oct '17Published on: 29 Oct '17Published in: The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery


Acute Achilles tendon ruptures can be treated with surgical and nonsurgical treatment. However, the optimal intervention for acute Achilles tendon rupture remains controversial. The aim of the present study was to compare the clinical outcomes of surgical treatment versus conservative management for acute Achilles tendon rupture. Eight randomized controlled studies involving 762 patients were included in the meta-analysis. In general, re-rupture occurred in 14 of 381 surgically treated patients (3.7%) and 37 of 377 nonsurgically treated patients (9.8%). Pooled results showed that the total re-rupture rate was significantly lower in surgical group than that in the nonsurgical group (risk ratio 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.21 to 0.68; p = .001). No significant differences were found between the 2 treatment groups in the incidence of deep venous thrombosis, the number who returned to sport, ankle range of motion (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion), Achilles tendon total rupture score, or physical activity scale. Surgical treatment can effectively reduce the re-rupture rate and might be a better choice for the treatment of acute Achilles tendon rupture. Multicenter, double-blind randomized controlled trials with stratification and long-term follow-up are needed to obtain a higher level of evidence and to guide clinical practice, especially in the comparison and selection of different treatments.