Achilles tendon injuries are common especially in individuals who are physically active. There are two distinct types of Achilles tendon injuries; the painful overuse injury with a slow onset (tendinopathy) and the acute complete rupture which rarely is preceded with pain or symptoms. For both injuries mechanical loading of the tendon through exercise is a key component for successful treatment. However, understanding how to individualize the treatment for your patient can be a challenge. This Masterclass aims to give an overview on how injury and exercise affects the tendon in general and the Achilles tendon specifically. The lecture series will also cover specific topics such as how to design and implement an exercise rehabilitation protocol for patients with Achilles tendinopathy from initial injury to return to sport based on the current evidence. Finally, it will describe how to design a rehabilitation program for patients with an Achilles tendon rupture and provide for an in-depth understanding in the obstacles to full recovery after a rupture.
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Tendon structure, function and response to load
This introductory module will provide for an overview of tendon structure and function. It will review the impact of loading and unloading the tendon. We will also start to discuss how to evaluate the response of exercise on the human tendon.
Tendon injury and effect of exercise
This module will describe the various types of tendon injuries, and the risk factors for injury. The effect of injury on tendon structure and function in both painful and pain free tendons will highlighted. We will also review how healthy and injured tendons respond to various types of exercise both in the short and long-term.
Achilles tendinopathy treatment
In this module we will go over the signs and symptoms of Achilles tendinopathy and how the injury affects the patient. The evidence for exercise treatment will be reviewed with a discussion on how to apply the evidence on the individual patient. In addition we will review how to progress the exercises based on the patients response and symptoms.
Achilles tendinopathy return to sport
This module will review the factors to consider when planning a return to sport program for a patient/athlete recovering from Achilles tendinopathy. A systematic approach of designing an individualized return to sport plan using careful monitoring of symptoms and load progression will be discussed.
Achilles tendon rupture treatment and expectations of recovery
The management of acute Achilles tendon rupture with a focus on the rehabilitation is the focus of this module. The reasons for continued impairments and obstacles for full recovery and return to sports will be reviewed. A detailed description of how to design the rehabilitation program in the early and late stages will be described. Simple clinical methods for evaluating the recovery of the patient will also be included.