Doctors Can Often Miss Achilles Tendon Diagnosis

Doctors Can Often Miss Achilles Tendon Diagnosis
Doctors Can Often Miss Achilles Tendon Diagnosis

(HealthDay News) – About one-quarter of Achilles tendon ruptures are missed during doctors' initial examinations, according to a clinical review published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The researchers found that most patients healed better with conservative treatment and said surgery should be limited to acute tears in young or very active patients. "As an osteopathic physician, we approach treating injuries with the least amount of surgical intervention possible," Joseph Daniel, D.O., clinical associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, said in a journal news release. "Injuries of the Achilles are no different, and this study validates that most patients are better off with conservative treatment."

However, surgery in younger, athletic patients is associated with a lower risk of re-rupture and a faster return to activity, Daniel said. The researchers also said that diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound, is not recommended for people with Achilles tendon problems unless a rupture is suspected.

"Mismanaged or neglected injuries will markedly decrease a patient's quality of life," Daniel said. "In all but a select few cases, we can resolve the issue with rest, over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, or a few weeks in a walking boot."

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