About 73% of players returned to the NFL after Achilles tendon repair, according to a recently published study in Foot and Ankle International.
“Achilles tendon injuries in the NFL are common season-ending injuries that require a surgical repair,” Joshua D. Harris, MD, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “Our study of 95 NFL players showed that it was also a career-ending injury in nearly 28% of those analyzed. Although postoperative performance was worse in running backs and linebackers (vs. pre-injury), there was no difference in postoperative performance or number of games played for any position (with the exception of linebackers) compared to rigorously matched control players in the league.”
Joshua D. Harris
Harris and colleagues studied 95 NFL players who underwent Achilles tendon repair and controls who were matched for age, position played, experience in years and performance. Investigators collected demographic and performance data.
Results showed that at a mean of 339.8 days after surgery, 71 NFL players were able to return to sport. Investigators noted 32% of repairs were performed during training camp or in the preseason.
Compared with players who underwent an Achilles tendon repair, controls had a significantly longer NFL career. After surgery, no significant difference was seen in games per season in subsequent seasons compared with patients in the control group.
Running backs and linebackers had significantly worse postoperative performance scores compared with preoperative scores. Linebackers had significantly worse postoperative performance vs. controls. – by Monica Jaramillo
: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.