PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES’ RETURN TO PLAY AND PERFORMANCE AFTER OPERATIVE REPAIR OF AN ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURE

Review written by Kevin Nordanger info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Achilles tendon ruptures are common in middle-aged physically active individuals. About 73% of them rupture during sporting activity. The patients’ main goal is normally to return to the same sport or activity level. There is a need for more knowledge on return to sport (RTS) rates and performance implications following this major injury. This study had two objectives:

  1. To examine RTS rates and performance levels among professional major league players after surgical repair of the Achilles tendon.
  2. Compare pre and post-operative function at one and two years post surgery.

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METHODS

Demographic information and performance-related statistics were recorded for two seasons before and after Achilles surgery and compared with matched controls. Of 86 athletes screened, 62 male athletes met the inclusion criteria. This included 25 National Basketball Association (NBA), 32 National Football League (NFL), and 5 Major League Baseball (MLB) players.

RESULTS

19 players (30.6 %) did not RTS. Those who did RTS played 75.4% (P < .001) and 81.9% (P = .002) of the total games played the season before injury at 1 and 2 years postoperatively. They played fewer games

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