December 1st, 2014 , J Surg Orthop Adv

Mini-open repair of achilles rupture in the national football league

Tears of the Achilles tendon in professional athletes are an infrequent yet devastating injury. Historical studies have demonstrated not only a poor rate of return to competitive play but have also noted significant declines in performance for those able to return. While classic treatment of these injuries in the competitive athlete has been an open, locked suture repair, this article reports on a consecutive series of professional football athletes who underwent mini-open repair. All athletes returned to professional football, with seven out of nine (78%) returning to National Football League (NFL) competition. Average return to play was 273 days (8.9 months), with one athlete returning at 166 days (5.4 months). There have been no reruptures and no sural nerve or wound healing complications. Although limited in number currently, mini-open repair in NFL athletes has allowed successful return to competitive play with no reruptures and a trend toward faster return to play compared with historical open repair outcomes.