Surgical management is currently the most common treatment offered for ruptured Achilles tendon; however, the length of hospital stay varies among hospitals. The objective of our study was to compare the costs associated with hospital stay and safety in 2 groups of patients undergoing surgical treatment of Achilles tendon ruptures. The first group of patients represented the surgical arm of a randomized clinical trial, the Multicentre Achilles Tendon Treatment Study (MATTS), and the second group comprised surgically treated patients not included in that trial (non-MATTS).
We performed an observational analytical retrospective chart review of all patients surgically treated for acute Achilles tendon ruptures at all Calgary-area hospitals over a 3-year period (October 2002-September 2005) who met our inclusion criteria. We determined the costs associated with hospital stay, complications and readmissions for all patients.
A total of 282 patients met our inclusion criteria. Hospital admission costs of patients enrolled in the MATTS trial were less than those of non-MATTS patients treated at each of the 3 Calgary adult hospitals. Non-MATTS patients remained in hospital for 1-4 days in contrast to MATTS patients, who were typically admitted and discharged the day of surgery. The complication rate was similar in both groups (MATTS 9% v. non-MATTS 8%). There were no readmissions in the MATTS group and 2 in the non-MATTS group. Between October 2002 and September 2005, an additional $236,436 was spent on non-MATTS patients who underwent surgery for Achilles tendon rupture.
Acute achilles tendon repair surgery is safe and less costly as an out-patient procedure.
Cites: J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2001 Aug;83(6):843-811521926