October 2017

Return to activity after Achilles repair parallels heel-rise performance recovery

In the moment: Rehabilitation

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Recovery of triceps surae muscle strength, as indicated by heel-rise test performance, is associated with the ability to return to jogging and other athletic activities after an Achilles tendon repair, according to research from Teikyo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.

The investigators found that 96 individuals who had undergone Achilles repair needed an average of 14 weeks after surgery to be able to complete a one-time full weightbearing heel rise, and 21 weeks to be able to complete 20 heel rises at a time. The time required after surgery to achieve either of those two heel-rise objectives was not significantly related to patient age or sex.

The ability to do a one-time heel rise was significantly associated with jogging ability (achieved at an average of 15 weeks), and the ability to do 20 heel rises was significantly associated with the ability to return fully to sports (22 weeks).

The findings, which were epublished in September by Foot and Ankle International, underscore the importance of training and monitoring triceps surae strength during rehabiliation after Achilles repair.


Toyooka S, Takeda H, Nakajima K, et al. Correlation between recovery of triceps surae muscle strength and level of activity after open repair of acute Achilles tendon rupture. Foot Ankle Int 2017 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print]

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