One fifth of patients with Achilles tendinopathy have symptoms after 10 years: A prospective cohort study

Iris F. Lagas*, Johannes L. Tol, Adam Weir, Suzan de Jonge, Peter L.J. van Veldhoven, Sita M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Jan A.N. Verhaar, Robert Jan de Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Patients with midportion Achilles tendinopathy (AT) are thought to experience a gradual symptomatic improvement over time. The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate if patients with midportion AT have symptoms at 10-year follow-up. Patients withmidportion AT were invited to complete an online questionnaire 10 years after inclusion in an intervention trial. The primary outcomewas the presence of AT symptoms. Secondary outcomes were: the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment-Achilles tendinopathy (VISA-A, 0–100) score and sports activity level. Of the 54 patientsincluded, 43 (80%) completed the questionnaire at an average follow-up of 10.4 years. Persisting symptoms were reported by 19%. The mean (standard deviation-SD) VISA-A score improved from 52 (17) at baseline to 79 (21) at 10-years follow-up with a mean change of 27 points (95% confidence interval: 21; 35, p < 0.001). Of the 38 active patients, 16 (42%) returned to their pre-injury level sports,of whom 14 (37%) performed them pain free. One-fifth of patients with conservatively treated midportion AT still have symptoms after 10years. One-third of patients were able to perform sports pain-free atpre-injury level. Patients should be adequately counselled to giverealistic expectations. Trial registration number: (identifier: NCT00761423).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2475-2483
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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