Other Subject Area

Physiotherapeutic rehabilitation


International Journal of Exercise Science 17(3): 140-153, 2024. Blood flow restriction exercise (BFRE) appears to provide a unique opportunity to preserve lower limb muscle and function in patients with an Achilles tendon rupture. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of BFRE in patients with an Achilles tendon rupture. Additionally, to evaluate muscle volume and patient-reported ankle function, symptoms, complications, and physical activity following 12 weeks of BFRE. Feasibility was measured by adherence to training sessions, drop-out rate, intervention acceptability, ankle pain exacerbation (NRS), and adverse events. At baseline and 12-weeks follow-up, patients completed the Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score questionnaire and had their thigh and calf circumference measured. At follow-up, patients’ ability to perform a single-leg heel rise was tested. Sixteen of 18 patients completed the intervention and for those, adherence to training sessions was 88% ±16%. The mean NRS following BFRE sessions was 1.1 (95%CI: 1; 1.2). Three adverse events occurred during the 12 weeks. Two re-ruptures after completion of the BFRE program and one deep venous thrombosis following cast removal. BFRE was found to be feasible in a subset of patients with an Achilles tendon rupture. However, with three adverse events in a population of 18 patients, the effectiveness and safety of BFRE warrants further investigation.