The incidence of achilles tendon (AT) ruptures is increasing. The aim of the present study was to evaluate annual incidence, aetiology, operative complications and direct hospital costs of AT ruptures.
A retrospective study of 93 consecutive patients operated on for AT rupture from January 1986 to December 1996 at Kuusankoski District Hospital (area with 92,500 inhabitants) was performed. During the observation period no patient with an AT rupture was treated conservatively.
95 AT ruptures were treated including one rerupture (1%) and one patient with two ruptures. There were 7 (7%) patients with an open AT rupture. The total annual incidence in the hospital area was 8.6 (+/- 4.3) and for closed AT ruptures 8.0 (+/- 3.8). The total incidence was 9.3 (+/- 4.6)/10(5) and for closed AT ruptures 8.6 (+/- 4.1)/10(5) inhabitants per year. Most of the injuries were sport related, the most frequent sport being volleyball. Patients operated for closed AT rupture had major surgical complications in 4.5% of the cases and the total complication rate was 11%. The average direct hospital costs per patient was USD 1375.
The incidence of AT ruptures is increasing in South-East Finland. The rate of major surgical complication was low (4.5%) and comparable with earlier studies.