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Insertional Achilles tendinopathy: A radiographic cross-sectional comparison between symptomatic and asymptomatic heel of 71 patients.

PURPOSE: This retrospective study aimed to investigate whether the standard radiographic indicators for Haglund's syndrome are applicable to insertional Achilles tendinopathy.

METHODS: Patients who underwent surgery for insertional Achilles tendinopathy in one heel and experienced no pain in the other heel were enrolled in this study. Preoperative calibrated radiographs of the lateral view of the calcaneus were assessed using (1) calcaneal pitch angle, (2) Fowler-Phillip angle, (3) posterior calcaneal angle, (4) Chauveau-Liet angle, (5) X/Y ratio, (6) Haglund's deformity height, (7) Haglund's deformity peak angle, (8) calcification length, (9) calcification width, (10) parallel pitch test, and (11) presence of free body. The Wilcoxon signed rank test and McNemar's test were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS: Seventy-one patients (52 males; mean age, 57.2; mean body mass index, 27.1) were included. Mean values for each index in the symptomatic and asymptomatic heels were as follows, respectively: (1) 23.5, 23.0 ( p  = 0.30); (2) 58.9, 57.8 ( p  < 0.05); (3) 7.6, 9.2 ( p  < 0.05); (4) 15.8, 13.9 ( p  < 0.05); (5) 2.8, 2.8 ( p  = 0.87); (6) 5.4, 5.0 ( p  < 0.05); (7) 99.6, 99.0 ( p  = 0.44); (8) 10.5, 7.6 ( p  < 0.001); and (9) 5.1, 4.4 ( p  < 0.05). The sensitivity, specificity, and area under curve of significant indicators were as follows, respectively: (2) 0.78, 0.37, 0.55; (3) 0.45, 0.72, 0.58; (4) 0.63, 0.54, 0.57; (6) 0.45, 0.69, 0.59; (8) 0.48, 0.80, 0.66; and (9) 0.63, 0.54, 0.59. The presence of free body also showed a significant difference between both heels ( p  < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Some radiographic indicators for Haglund's syndrome are applicable to the diagnosis of insertional Achilles tendinopathy. A comparison of the parameters of Haglund's syndrome with those of insertional Achilles tendinopathy may illuminate the etiology and pathology of insertional Achilles tendinopathy and lead to novel treatments.

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