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The long-term clinical and MRI results following eccentric calf muscle training in chronic Achilles tendinosis
Departments of Radiology, Karolinska Institutet, Clintec, Karolinska University Hospital/Huddinge, 14186, Stockholm, Sweden .
2010 (English)In: Skeletal Radiology, ISSN 0364-2348, E-ISSN 1432-2161, Vol. 39, no 5, 435-442 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To evaluate the long-term results following eccentric calf-muscle training in patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 24 patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy were included in a study evaluating MRI findings and clinical symptoms before and after 3 months of daily eccentric calf-muscle strength training. Median duration of symptoms was 18 months (range 6-120). Four of the patients did not perform the prescribed treatment for different reasons and were followed for 14 months. The resulting 20 treated patients completed 4.2-year (range 29-58 months) follow up. Tendon volume was evaluated by using 3D seed growing technique and signal abnormalities were visually semi-quantitatively graded. Level of pain and performance was categorized using a questionnaire completed by the patient.

RESULTS: In the symptomatic treated patients, median intensity level of pain decreased from moderate/severe at time of inclusion to mild at follow up (p < 0.05). Median level of performance increased from severe impairment at time of inclusion to normal at follow up (p < 0.05). 12 out of 20 patients had raised intratendinous signal at time of inclusion compared to 2 out of 20 patients at follow up (p < 0.001). Mean tendon-volume measured 6.7 cm(3) (SD 2.0) at time of inclusion and 6.4 cm(3) (SD 2.0) at follow up (p = 0.18). The four symptomatic non-treated tendons did not improve regarding pain, performance, intratendinous signal or tendon volume.

CONCLUSION: We found decreased pain, improved performance and decreased intratendinous signal both compared to index examination and immediately after the 3 months training regimen in a 4.2-year clinical and MRI follow up, in a group of patients treated with heavy loaded eccentric calf-muscle training for chronic Achilles tendinopathy. The improvements were greater at 4.2-year follow up, despite no further active treatment, than immediately after the treatment. This may indicate a good long-term prognosis for Achilles tendinosis patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 39, no 5, 435-442 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-220133DOI: 10.1007/s00256-009-0798-3PubMedID: 19774375OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-220133DiVA: diva2:704162
Available from: 2014-03-11 Created: 2014-03-11 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved

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