Custom or sham orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy treatment?
This participant blinded, randomised controlled trial, examined the effectiveness of customised foot orthoses in chronic mid portion Achilles Tendinopathy. 140 participants, ages between 18-55 were prescribed eccentric exercises plus either customised or sham orthoses. There was no between groups difference in primary outcomes (VISA-A) at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months.
Achilles Tendinopathy is a chronic, debilitating and clinically challenging condition that can affect up to 19% of the athletic population. The prescription of foot orthoses is commonly included in clinical practice guidelines for its treatment, alongside physical therapy and loading exercises.
140 participants (ages 18-55) with clinically diagnosed mid-portion Achilles Tendinopathy were randomised by computer into two groups. Both groups were prescribed eccentric exercises (Alfredson protocol) and either customised or sham foot ortoses.
The VISA-A outcome measure was used as a primary outcome at baseline and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months.
Although both groups showed improvements at each follow up, there were no statistically significant differences between groups at any time point. There were also no statistically significant differences between groups for secondary outcome measures such as physical activity levels and quality of life.
This participant blinded randomised controlled trial questions whether customised orthotics improve outcomes of patients with chronic mid-portion Achilles Tendinopathy.