Page 156 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 156
LOWER EXTREMITY
INJURIES

ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURES IN
ATHLETES: WHERE ARE WE NOW?

KEVIN W. FARMER, MD ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURES are common injuries
Assistant Professor
University of Florida in athletes, especially in males over the age of 35. Ruptures are more
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery common in older athletes, and numbers are expected to increase with
the aging, active population. Recent high-profile injuries and an evolving
approach to treatment have brought increased scrutiny to this injury.

Outcome studies reveal this injury to be potentially career ending in
professional athletes, with 38 percent of National Basketball Association (NBA)
and 33 percent of National Football League (NFL) players failing to return to
play after injury. Of those who do return, the majority demonstrate decreased
productivity for the remainder of their careers.1,2 Long-term follow-up data
demonstrates that significant functional deficits persist two years after injury,
regardless of treatment.3 The current treatment for acute Achilles ruptures

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