There are various techniques of Achilles tendon (TA) repair and reconstruction in chronic Achilles tear. However, there is no clear consensus on the relevance of one method over the other. The short flexor hallucis longus tendon (FHL) transfer has recently gained popularity because of its same phasic action, ease of harvesting and tensile strength.
Fifteen chronic Achilles tear (>6 weeks) were treated with tendon repair using gastrocnemius advancement flap augmented with FHL transfer. The patients were followed-up at 1.5, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. The clinical outcome at latest follow-up was evaluated using the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Score (AOFAS) and the Achilles Tendon Rupture Score (ATRS).
The mean age was 43.5 ± 12.4 years and the median time from injury to surgery was 17.13 ± 9.64 weeks. The mean gap between the retracted ends of the ruptured tendon was 5.67 ± 1.63 cm (range 4-10 cm). The mean follow-up was 19.07 ± 3.15 months (range, 13-24 months). The mean AOFAS and ATRS improved from 72.07 ± 8.29 (62-83) to 98.4 ± 2.03 (94-100) and 61.73 ± 8.16 (52-70) to 98 ± 1.85 (94-100) respectively (paired t-test, p-value 0.0001). All patients resumed their pre-injury daily activities, and there was no donor site morbidity. Two patients had sterile serous discharge, and one patient had a staphylococcus infection. These patients responded to debridement with prolonged antibiotic therapy. There were no nerve injuries or re-rupture.
The functional outcome of chronic Achilles tear treated with gastrocnemius advancement flap augmented with short FHL transfer is rewarding.
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