August 05, 2014
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Age, higher BMI result in higher risks after Achilles tendon injury

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Patients who have a higher body mass index or are older tend to fare worse in recovering from acute Achilles tendon ruptures, according to study data.

Researchers prospectively evaluated 93 patients with acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Symptoms and function were measured by the Achilles tendon Total Rupture Score (ATRS) and maximum heel-rise height, respectively. Treatment, sex, age, body mass index (BMI), physical activity level, symptoms and quality of life were also noted. Follow-up took place at 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively.

Surgical and non-surgical treatment were found to be moderate predictors of symptoms but a poor predictors of heel-rise height. At 6-month follow-up, surgical treatment was associated with a larger heel-rise height; however, the opposite was observed at final follow-up. Surgical treatment was found to result in fewer symptoms.

Increasing age was a strong predictor of reduced heel-rise height, with an increase in age of 10 years resulting in an approximately 8% reduction in expected heel-rise height.

Elevated patient BMI was also classified as a strong predictor of more substantial symptoms, as a five-unit higher BMI was linked to an accurately predicted reduction of approximately 10 points in ATRS values, according to the researchers.

Disclosure: This study was supported by the Swedish National Center for Research in Sports.