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Current Issue - March 2022, Volume 16, Issue No. 1

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Is Elevated Hba1c Level Associated with Achilles Tendon Contracture Development in Diabetic Foot Patient


Introduction: Chronic hyperglycemia can increase extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation that leads to tendon fibrosis and subsequent contracture. Considering the reversibility of fibrosis, it is important to identify factors that are associated with it. The purpose of this study was to determine whether elevated HbA1c levels are associated with the development of Achilles tendon contracture in diabetes mellitus patients.

Materials and methods: We reviewed 206 patients with diabetic foot problems between January 2015-December 2019. Demographic data, the presence of Achilles tendon contracture, and laboratory results were documented and statistically analysed between patients with contracture and without contracture.

Results: Patients’ mean age was 58.46 ± 6.67 years old. Contracture was found in 84 out of 206 patients (40.78%) patients, with female predominance (45/84 patients; 53%). While contracture was found significantly associated with sex difference (0.035) and age groups (p=0.006), there was no meaningful association with HbA1c level groups (p=0.324).

Conclusion: Findings do not support the use of HbA1c level as a sole determinant of Achilles tendon contracture. Seemingly, there are other confounding factors affecting the Achilles tendon contracture development in diabetes mellitus patients. It should be emphasised that albeit the association between chronic hyperglycemia and contracture development, the low HbA1c should not be overlooked as having no risk of Achilles tendon contracture and vice versa.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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