May 1st, 2010 , Foot Ankle Int

Surgical outcome following tibialis anterior tendon repair


Tibialis anterior tendon rupture is an uncommon injury that can cause significant functional deficit. Recent series have supported surgical reconstruction in younger, more active patients. We investigated our clinical outcomes of patients having undergone surgical management of tibialis anterior tendon ruptures.


Fifteen tibialis anterior tendon ruptures in 14 patients were retrospectively reviewed after surgical management. Five had primary repair, while 10 had tendon transfers. Average age at time of surgery was 70.6 years with an average followup of 27.2 months. Patients were evaluated with American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and SF-36 clinical outcome scores. Strength measurements utilizing a dynamometer and range of motion (ROM) were documented on the operative and non-operative ankles. Patient satisfaction surveys were performed.


Average postoperative AOFAS hindfoot score was 88.8 and SF-36 score was 76.4. There was a statistically significant difference in average dorsiflexion strength of 21.8 lbs/in(2) on the operative side and 28.8 lbs/in(2) on the non-operative limb, and in dorsiflexion ROM of patients that received a gastrocnemius recession. There was no statistically significant difference between primary tendon repair versus tendon transfer groups nor plantarflexion strength or ROM among any group. Patient surveys revealed that seven patients were completely satisfied, six had minor reservations, and one had major reservations. There were no complications.


This study supports the surgical repair or reconstruction of the tibialis anterior tendon ruptures to restore functional strength and ROM.