Chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a prospective randomized study comparing the therapeutic effect of eccentric training, the AirHeel brace, and a combination of both

Wolf Petersen, Robert Welp, Dieter Rosenbaum
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2007, 35 (10): 1659-67

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that eccentric training has a positive effect on chronic Achilles tendinopathy. A new strategy for the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy is the AirHeel brace.

HYPOTHESIS: AirHeel brace treatment improves the clinical outcome of patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy. The combination of the AirHeel brace and an eccentric training program has a synergistic effect.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled clinical trial; Level of evidence, 1.

METHODS: One hundred patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: (1) eccentric training, (2) AirHeel brace, and (3) combination of eccentric training and AirHeel brace. Patients were evaluated at 6, 12, and 54 weeks after the beginning of the treatment protocol with ultrasonography, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle score, and Short Form-36 (SF-36).

RESULTS: The VAS score for pain, AOFAS score, and SF-36 improved significantly in all 3 groups at all 3 follow-up examinations. At the 3 time points (6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 54 weeks) of follow-up, there was no significant difference between all 3 treatment groups. In all 3 groups, there was no significant difference in tendon thickness after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: The AirHeel brace is as effective as eccentric training in the treatment of chronic Achilles tendinopathy. There is no synergistic effect when both treatment strategies are combined.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The AirHeel brace is an alternative treatment option for chronic Achilles tendinopathy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"