Open and subcutaneous recent tibialis anterior tendon ruptures: does postoperative immobilization method influence outcome?

Abstract

UNLABELLED We report on seven traumatic lesions of the tibialis anterior tendon (one subcutaneous rupture and six open tears) in seven injured patients of mean age 45 years [17-79] all managed by direct suture and immobilization either using a cast boot (four cases) or a lower leg external fixator (three cases). After a mean follow-up of 31 months (6-50), external fixation achieved favourable clinical results with no specific complication. External fixation improves the conditions for suture efficiency, provides full immobilization and facilitates wound care in patients at a high risk of developing cutaneous complications. In accordance with data published in the literature, immobilization by means of a windowed cast boot achieved satisfactory results in patients with no risk factors. This method compatible with early mobilization avoids placement of a posterior splint which could induce slackening and weakening of tendon repair. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Retrospective study (Level IV).

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