Calcific spurs at the insertion of the Achilles tendon: a clinical and histological study.

Johansson KJ1, Sarimo JJ, Lempainen LL, Laitala-Leinonen T, Orava SY.

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Department Paavo Nurmi Center, Hospital NEO, Turun Yliopisto, Turku, Finland.


In active people, insertional calcific tendinopathy (CT) of the Achilles tendon is rare. We evaluated the results of surgical treatment for Achilles tendon CT and analyzed post-surgery Achilles tendon histological features. The study included 36 operations in 34 patients. Twenty-eight (78%) cases had a resection of a Haglund’s deformity performed. The mean age of the patients was 42 years (range=23 to 68). Thirteen of the patients were professional athletes and 20 recreational athletes. In twenty-five (69%) cases, the result of surgery was rated good, in nine cases (25%) moderate and in two (6%) cases poor. The mean age of those with a good result was 10 years lower (40 versus 50 years) than those with a moderate result (p=0.0239). Higher athletic activity was also related to a better outcome (p=0.0205). Histology samples showed fast remodellation and stem-cell activation. Surgery seemed to result in a good outcome in patients with or without a Haglund’s deformity which failed conservative treatment.


Achilles tendon; Haglund’s deformity; achillodynia; calcific tendinopathy; enthesophyte; surgery PMID: 23738309 PMCID: PMC3666536

Read article: 15. Johansson et al MLTJ 2013 Achilles Tendon Calcific Spurs (pdf)


Lasse Lempainen
orthopaedic surgeon
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