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Management of chronic Achilles tendinopathy

Tendons transmit force between muscles and bones and, when stretched, store elastic energy that contributes to movement.1 The tendinous portion of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles merge to form the Achilles tendon, which is the largest and strongest in the body, but one of the most frequently injured.2,3 Conservative management options for chronic Achilles tendinopathy include eccentric (lengthening) exercises, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), topical nitroglycerin, low level laser therapy, orthoses, splints or injections (e.g. corticosteroids, hyperosmolar dextrose, polidocanol, platelet-rich plasma), while a minority of patients require surgery (using open, percutaneous or endoscopic methods).4–8 Here we assess the management options for patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy (lasting over 6 weeks).

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