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Type: Journal article
Title: Chronic achilles tendinopathy treated with eccentric stretching program
Author: Verrall, Geoffrey M.
Schofield, Scott
Brustad, Terese
Citation: Foot & Ankle International, 2011; 32(9):843-849
Publisher: American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1071-1007
School/Discipline: School of Medicine : Medicine
Statement of
Geoffrey Verrall, Scott Schofield and Terese Brustad
Abstract: Background: This study assessed the efficacy of a modified eccentric heel-drop program (reduced time and increased duration of stretch) in treating chronic Achilles tendinopathy. Methods: Athletes with at least 12 weeks of symptoms diagnosed clinically as chronic Achilles tendinopathy were enrolled in the study. The only treatment recommended was a 6-week eccentric stretching regimen, with each stretch being maintained for at least 15 seconds. Athletes were followed to assess the response to treatment using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain and a patient effectiveness rating for treatment satisfaction as well as time to return to pre-injury activity level. Followup was successful in 156 (82%) of the athletes. A total of 190 athletes were seen with chronic Achilles tendinopathy. Results: Mid-substance injuries were diagnosed in 168 (88%) with the remainder 22 (12%) having distal insertional injuries. Pain as assessed by VAS reduced from mean of 7.2 at commencement of the regimen to 2.9 (p < 0.01) after 6 weeks of stretching. Six months post commencement of program mean pain was 1.1. Patient satisfaction was rated at 7 or above (excellent) in 124 (80%) of the athletes. For mid-substance injuries the satisfaction rating was excellent in 86%. Overall mean time to return to pre-morbid activity was 10 weeks. Conclusion: A modified 6-week eccentric heel-drop training regimen as the only treatment for chronic Achilles tendinopathy resulted in a high degree of patient satisfaction, reduced pain and a successful return to pre-morbid activity levels. These results were best for mid-substance rather than insertional tendinopathy.
Rights: Copyright © 2011 by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
RMID: 0020112334
DOI: 10.3113/FAI.2011.0843
Description (link):,50056240&P=summary
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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