Randomised controlled trials of immediate weight-bearing mobilisation for rupture of the tendo Achillis.
Costa ML., MacMillan K., Halliday D., Chester R., Shepstone L., Robinson AHN., Donell ST.
We performed two independent, randomised, controlled trials in order to assess the potential benefits of immediate weight-bearing mobilisation after rupture of the tendo Achillis. The first trial, on operatively-treated patients showed an improved functional outcome for patients mobilised fully weight-bearing after surgical repair. Two cases of re-rupture in the treatment group suggested that careful patient selection is required as patients need to follow a structured rehabilitation regimen. The second trial, on conservatively-treated patients, provided no evidence of a functional benefit from immediate weight-bearing mobilisation. However, the practical advantages of immediate weight-bearing did not predispose the patients to a higher complication rate. In particular, there was no evidence of tendon lengthening or a higher re-rupture rate. We would advocate immediate weight-bearing mobilisation for the rehabilitation of all patients with rupture of the tendo Achillis.