Mar 23, 2015
A Better Way?

The terrible “pop” of a torn Achilles is an injury athletic trainers know well. Now, a new surgical method might lessen rehabilitation time and produce better results. At the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, orthopedic surgeon Timothy Miller has been experimenting with a new technique to suture and repair a ruptured tendon.

“To this point, the results look very promising,” he writes in an article on “By modifying a technique known as the ‘giftbox’ method, I’ve used a single continuous loop of non-absorbable suture to create a new way to restore the tendon’s length and tension. This technique may cut down on time to return to sports following surgery and strengthen the tendon long-term.”

Here are the details:

  • The new technique uses an approach that shows an “improved suture pullout strength” by integrating “a suture loop weave from a non-absorbable suture through the tendon,” which prevents knots near the tear site.
  • The technique seeks to make the repaired tendon stronger because the non-absorbable suture limits the amount of times the native tendon gets punctured. In addition, suture knot placement has changed, with the new location being farther from the tear site for faster healing.
  • Thirty five patients have undergone the surgery and have experienced “good to excellent results” in strength, rerupture rates, and return to previous ability. 

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