Gait Abnormality and Asymmetry Analysis After 18–24 Months Surgical Repair of Unilateral Achilles Tendon Rupture
Incidence of Achilles tendon rupture (ATR) highly increased over the last years, which can alter tissue composition while having non-wanted effects on long-term tendon mechanics and lower limb functions during gait movement. 10 male athletes were recruited to follow up their rehabilitation 18–24 months after a percutaneous unilateral ATR surgical repair. Using ultrasonography, the Achilles tendon (AT) elongation of these athletes could be clearly detected. During the experiments, kinematics (200 Hz), ground reaction forces (1000 Hz) and subdivision plantar pressure (50 Hz) were measured bilaterally, while paired sample t-tests were used to evaluate differences between injured and uninjured limbs. According to the obtained results, the increased ankle dorsiflexion angle and decreased knee flexion may be the two governing compensation mechanisms for functional deficit of elongated AT. It is also suggested that due to the elongated AT the knee is overused, which results that injuries and tibia stress fracture risks may be increased as well. This idea is supported by the obtained results, since significantly greater loading rate, hip adduction angle and knee adduction moment, were found in the injured limb. It is worth mentioning that increased ankle inversion angle accompanied with laterally shifted planter pressure distribution indicate higher ankle sprain injury risk as well. Greater symmetry angle were found during walking. It is supposed that side to side gait variable differences, found between lower limbs, may be related to the AT elongation of surgical repaired side. Increased asymmetry angle found in walking of AT ruptured athletes should pay additional attention in the future studies.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2019
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