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The aim of this study was to investigate the role of early functional rehabilitation in acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Eligible studies were identified from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library using the following search keywords: "Achilles tendon rupture" and "rehabilitation" or "function" or "functional" or "mobilization" and "randomized" or "random" or "blind" or "control" or "compare" or "comparative." A heterogeneity test based on I statistic and Cochran's Q test was conducted. The pooled risk ratio and weighted mean difference with 95% confidence interval was calculated for each outcome using the random-effect (p < .05 or I > 50% for significant heterogeneity) or fixed-effect (p > .05 or I < 50% for nonsignificant heterogeneity) model. A subgroup analysis was also performed. Fourteen randomized controlled trials were identified. Pooled data demonstrated no difference in the complication rates, time taken to return to sports, total number of patients returning to work or sports, and satisfaction rate between the early functional rehabilitation and conventional cast immobilization groups. Early functional rehabilitation significantly decreased the time taken to return to work (weighted mean difference -1.56; 95% confidence interval -3.09 to 0.04; p = .04]. Early functional rehabilitation for acute Achilles tendon ruptures appeared to be related to a shorter time taken to return to work; however, it did not affect the other variables between the groups.
PMID: 31474405 [PubMed - in process]