There are 2 approaches available for surgical repair of the Achilles tendon: open or percutaneous. However, there is controversy over which repair is superior.
Focused Clinical Question:
Which type of surgery is better in providing the best overall patient outcome, open or percutaneous repair, in physically active men and women with acute Achilles tendon ruptures?
Summary of Search, “Best Evidence” Appraised, and Key Findings:
The literature was searched for studies of level 3 evidence or higher that investigated the effectiveness of open repair versus percutaneous repair on acute Achilles tendon ruptures in physically active men and women. The literature search resulted in 3 studies for possible inclusion. All 3 good-quality studies were included.
Clinical Bottom Line:
There is supporting evidence to indicate that percutaneous repair is the best option for Achilles tendon surgery when it comes to the physically active population. Percutaneous repair has faster surgery times, less risk of complications, and faster recovery times over having an open repair, although it is acknowledged that every patient has a different situation and best individual option may vary patient to patient.
The authors are with the Dept of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.