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New Tool To Measure Results of Treatment After Achilles Tendon Rupture

Testing after medical treatment is one way to measure the effectiveness of the treatment. In this study, a new tool to evaluate the results of treatment for patients with an Achilles' tendon rupture is presented. The test is called the Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score (ATRS).

The ATRS is a self-administered test that can be used after any type of treatment. It measures functional results on a patient-by-patient basis. This new patient-reported tool measures the outcome based on symptoms and physical activity. The hope is that it can be used to guide treatment and allow for comparisons between studies using different treatment approaches.

There were a series of steps in the process of developing this new tool. First, the authors searched for other studies to see if a similar type of test was already available. Then a group of experts including physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons came up with items for the testing tool. The tool was named the ATRS.

Over 100 patients with Achilles' tendon rupture were given the ATRS to complete. Participants were asked for any comments about the questions asked. They were allowed to offer any ideas for improving the questionnaire. Several items were removed from the ATRS based on the patients' feedback.

The ATRS was then tested on another group of patients with Achilles' tendon rupture. Using statistical analysis, the authors were able to show that the ATRS is a reliable and valid tool.

The final test had 10 questions that were quick and easy to answer for the patient and easy to score for the clinician. The ATRS does measure the effect of treatment on Achilles' tendon ruptures. Therapists and surgeons can use this tool to find out how patients are limited by their symptoms during various physical activities before and after treatment.

Katarina Nilsson-Helander, MD, et al. The Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score (ATRS). In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. March 2007. Vol. 35. No. 3. Pp. 421-426.

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