Achilles tendon ruptures are most likely to occur in males and sport-related injuries of this type are more common in individuals aged under 55. Basketball is the sport responsible for the highest proportion of ruptures, with tennis and football coming next on the list.
These are the key findings of a study conducted by a US research team comprising Drs. Steven Raikin, David Garras and Philip Krapchev. Their report was published in the April issue of the Foot & Ankle International journal.
The researchers examined 406 patient records of Achilles tendon injuries diagnosed between August 2000 and December 2010. The average age of the patients was 46, 83% of them were male and 68% of the ruptures were attributable to sports.
Basketball accounted for 32% of all sport-related injuries, tennis came second with 9% and football was third with 8%. Within the group of patients younger than 55, 77% of the injuries were sustained while playing sports. In comparison, the figure was 42% for people aged 55 or above.
The likelihood for non-sports related ruptures was greater in the case of older patients and people with a BMI of more than 30. These patients were also more likely to have received an incorrect diagnosis at the time of injury. The typical reason for the incorrect diagnosis was initial pronouncement of the injury as an ankle sprain. Over a third of the Achilles tendon ruptures not related to sports were found to have taken place at work.