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Surgical Repair of Tibialis Anterior Tendon Rupture

Tucker, Scott A. MD*; Sammarco, G. James MD*,†,‡; Sammarco, V. James MD

Techniques in Foot & Ankle Surgery: March 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 1 - p 39–44
doi: 10.1097/BTF.0b013e31824695e7

Closed rupture of the tibialis anterior tendon is a relatively uncommon clinical phenomenon, and review of the literature reveals fewer than 150 reported cases. Even more limited are the reported treatment methods and repair techniques. The disruption of the tendon can occur as a result of traumatic or atraumatic rupture, and is often a missed diagnosis that presents late to the treating surgeon. Depending on the time since injury and condition of the tendon, the rupture may be repaired either primarily or through secondary repair with autogenous interpositional grafting. Regardless of age, sex, medical comorbidities, and diagnostic delay, both techniques have shown promising results. The repair of the ruptured tibialis anterior results in restoration of dorsiflexion strength, ankle cosmesis, and return of function. Depending on the patient’s functional deficit and desired level of activity, surgical repair is generally a safe and effective means to restore function, independent of injury acuity.

*Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center Inc., Cincinnati, OH

The authors did not receive and outside funding or grants in support of their preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors, or a member of their immediate families, are affiliated or associated.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint request to Scott A. Tucker, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, Tulane University, 1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-32 New Orleans, LA 70112. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.