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Comparison of Clinical Efficacy Among Endoscopy-Assisted Radio-Frequency Ablation, Extracorporeal Shockwaves, and Eccentric Exercises in Treatment of Insertional Achilles Tendinosis

Min Wei Department of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

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Yujie Liu Department of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

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Zhongli Li Department of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

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Zhigang Wang Department of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.

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Background:

We sought to compare clinical efficacy among endoscopy-assisted radio-frequency ablation under local anesthesia, extracorporeal shockwaves (ESWs), and eccentric exercises in treating insertional Achilles tendinosis.

Methods:

In this retrospective study, 78 patients diagnosed as having unilateral insertional Achilles tendinosis were enrolled. These participants underwent endoscopy-assisted radio-frequency ablation, ESWs, and eccentric calf muscle exercises between March 1, 2006, and February 28, 2011. Clinical efficacy was evaluated by the visual analog scale (VAS), the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle/hindfoot scale, and the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment–Achilles (VISA-A) scale before and after treatment.

Results:

Before treatment, there were no statistically significant differences in VAS, AOFAS ankle/hindfoot scale, and VISA-A scale scores among the different groups (all P > .05). For the endoscopy and ESW groups, VAS, AOFAS ankle/hindfoot scale, and VISA-A scale scores were significantly improved after 18 months of treatment (all P < .05). The VAS, AOFAS ankle/hindfoot scale, and VISA-A scale scores in the endoscopy group were significantly higher than those in the ESW and eccentric exercise groups after 18 months of therapy (all P < .05).

Conclusions:

Combined with synovectomy and tendon debridement, endoscopy-assisted radio-frequency ablation yields better clinical efficacy compared with ESWs in treating insertional Achilles tendinosis.

Corresponding author: Min Wei, PhD, Department of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Rd, Beijing, 100853, China. (E-mail: minwei201411@163.com)