Beyond the diagnosis: using patient characteristics and domains of tendon health to identify latent subgroups of Achilles tendinopathy

Review written by Dr Seth O’Neill info

Key Points

  1. At least 3 subgroups exist in people with Achilles tendinopathy.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Exercise therapy is the gold standard for treating Achilles Tendinopathy. However, not every patient that engages in rehabilitation will make a full recovery. This may be due to a poor definition of recovery in the literature but also due to the generic nature of the rehabilitation programmes that guide treatments. Tendinopathy treatment often uses a one size fits all approach, but this fails around 40% of individuals (i.e. they are not better after rehab), and leaves around 25% still symptomatic 10 years later.

This cross-sectional study aimed to understand if people with tendinopathy present in different ways or whether there may be sub-groups of defining presentation characteristics.

Tendinopathy treatment often uses a one size fits all approach, but this fails around 40% of individuals.
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This paper highlights the importance of identifying specific subgroups when it comes to directing treatment of Achilles Tendinopathy for superior treatment outcomes.

METHODS

The study used a cross-sectional method recruiting from two large longitudinal studies. 145 people were recruited, and they had a full assessment including Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), clinical exam, tendon structure measures using ultrasound imaging and continuous shear wave

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