Percutaneous suture of acute Achilles tendon rupture A study of 60 cases

Published online: Apr 27 2010

Jean-Louis Rouvillain, Thomas Navarre, Octavio Labrada-Blanco, Emmanuel Garron, Wael Daoud

From the University Hospital Pierre Zobda Quitman, La Meynard, Fort De France, Martinique, France


Conservative treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures may lead to re-rupture. Open surgical repair entails a risk of skin necrosis or infection. Several percutaneous techniques have been used, such as TenoligĀ® or AchillonĀ®, but these techniques are costly and may be marred by wound healing problems. Ma and Griffith described a technique for percutaneous repair which left the suture and the knot under the skin, thus reducing the risk for infection. From January 2001 to September 2006, we used this percutaneous treatment for 60 acute ruptures of tendo Achillis. The repair was made under local anaesthesia, using a single or double absorbable suture. Postoperative care was 3 weeks immobilistion in a non-weight bearing cast in equinus position, followed by another 3 weeks in a cast with the ankle at 90° and progressive weight bearing. Mean follow-up was 19 months. Complications were 2 re-ruptures at 2 and 5 months respectively, 1 infection in a patient who presented with re-rupture after a previous surgical treatment, and 1 Achilles tendonitis. There was no sural nerve lesion. Mean time to return to working activities was 85 days ; mean time to return to sports activities was 5 months. Clinical results were good with no loss in range of motion. This low-cost technique appeared as an interesting alternative to surgical or conservative treatment, providing strong repair with a low complication rate.