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1.  Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy: why painful? An evidence-based philosophy 
Chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy is generally difficult to treat as the background to the pain mechanisms has not yet been clarified. A wide range of conservative and surgical treatment options are available. Most address intratendinous degenerative changes when present, as it is believed that these changes are responsible for the symptoms. Since up to 34% of asymptomatic tendons show histopathological changes, we believe that the tendon proper is not the cause of pain in the majority of patients. Chronic painful tendons show the ingrowth of sensory and sympathetic nerves from the paratenon with release of nociceptive substances. Denervating the Achilles tendon by release of the paratenon is sufficient to cause pain relief in the majority of patients. This type of treatment has the additional advantage that it is associated with a shorter recovery time when compared with treatment options that address the tendon itself. An evidence-based philosophy on the cause of pain in chronic mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy is presented.
Level of evidence    V.
PMCID: PMC3136709  PMID: 21567177
Achilles; Mid-portion; Painful; Cause of pain; Tendon
2.  Novel metallic implantation technique for osteochondral defects of the medial talar dome 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(4):495-502.
Background and purpose
A metallic inlay implant (HemiCAP) with 15 offset sizes has been developed for the treatment of localized osteochondral defects of the medial talar dome. The aim of this study was to test the following hypotheses: (1) a matching offset size is available for each talus, (2) the prosthetic device can be reproducibly implanted slightly recessed in relation to the talar cartilage level, and (3) with this implantation level, excessive contact pressures on the opposite tibial cartilage are avoided.
The prosthetic device was implanted in 11 intact fresh-frozen human cadaver ankles, aiming its surface 0.5 mm below cartilage level. The implantation level was measured at 4 margins of each implant. Intraarticular contact pressures were measured before and after implantation, with compressive forces of 1,000–2,000 N and the ankle joint in plantigrade position, 10° dorsiflexion, and 14° plantar flexion.
There was a matching offset size available for each specimen. The mean implantation level was 0.45 (SD 0.18) mm below the cartilage surface. The defect area accounted for a median of 3% (0.02–18) of the total ankle contact pressure before implantation. This was reduced to 0.1% (0.02–13) after prosthetic implantation.
These results suggest that the implant can be applied clinically in a safe way, with appropriate offset sizes for various talar domes and without excessive pressure on the opposite cartilage.
PMCID: PMC2917574  PMID: 20515434
3.  Appearance of the weight-bearing lateral radiograph in retrocalcaneal bursitis 
Acta Orthopaedica  2010;81(3):387-390.
Background and purpose
A retrocalcaneal bursitis is caused by repetitive impingement of the bursa between the Achilles tendon and the posterosuperior calcaneus. The bursa is situated in the posteroinferior corner of Kager's triangle (retrocalcaneal recess), which is a radiolucency with sharp borders on the lateral radiograph of the ankle. If there is inflammation, the fluid-filled bursa is less radiolucent, making it difficult to delineate the retrocalcaneal recess. We assessed whether the radiographic appearance of the retrocalcaneal recess on plain digital (filmless) radiographs could be used in the diagnosis of a retrocalcaneal bursitis.
Whether or not there was obliteration of the retrocalcaneal recess (yes/no) on 74 digital weight-bearing lateral radiographs of the ankle was independently assessed by 2 observers. The radiographs were from 24 patients (25 heels) with retrocalcaneal bursitis (confirmed on endoscopic calcaneoplasty); the control group consisted of 50 patients (59 heels).
The sensitivity of the test was 83% for observer 1 and 79% for observer 2. Specificity was 100% and 98%, respectively. The kappa value of the interobserver reliability test was 0.86. For observer 1, intraobserver reliability was 0.96 and for observer 2 it was 0.92.
On digital weight-bearing lateral radiographs of a retrocalcaneal bursitis, the retrocalcaneal recess has a typical appearance.
PMCID: PMC2876845  PMID: 20450438

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