Achilles Tendinopathy Diagnosis & Treatment (Dutch Clinical Guideline 2021)
- RRS Education
Achilles tendon injury is common in both active athletes and the inactive, often caused by overload mechanisms. In the Dutch population (this was a Dutch clinical guideline), the prevalence of Achilles tendon injuries is 2-3/1000, with runners having an especially high lifetime likelihood of Achilles injury. While the exact pathophysiology of Achilles tendon injuries is not fully understood, it is accepted that the cause(s) of injury are multifactorial.
Diagnosis is generally based on clinical findings, although no exact diagnostic criteria are described. Imaging (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI) is used frequently during diagnosis, although the exact role of imaging in diagnosis is also not yet agreed upon.
Treatment is generally non-surgical in the early phase, with surgery considered only when conservative options are exhausted without improvement. The long-term prognosis for Achilles tendinopathy is generally unfavourable. Data helping clinicians to predict those who may or may not respond favourably to treatment would be of significant benefit in addressing appropriate treatment and in minimizing recurrence of symptoms. As such, the authors sought to develop clinical guidelines regarding the diagnosis and treatment of Achilles tendon injuries.
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Achilles Tendinopathy Diagnosis & Treatment”
This paper was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Ankle-Foot, Tendinopathy and the 2022 Archive.