What is Achilles Tendon Repair?
The Achilles tendon is a thick fibrous band of tissue which connects two large muscles in your calf to the heel bone. It is the largest tendon in the body. Your calf muscles help you to walk, run and jump. However, the tendon can tear or rupture when it is stretched beyond its capacity. This leads to Achilles tendon rupture. An Achilles tendon repair is the treatment option for repairing a torn or ruptured Achilles tendon.
Although the Achilles tendon is a strong tendon and can withstand great stresses during jumping or running, it can sometimes get injured. When it gets damaged, it cannot perform its normal functions. These injuries are common and often need surgery to repair.
What are the causes of Achilles Tendon Rupture?
The causes of Achilles Tendon Rupture may include:
What Causes Tendon Rupture?
Conditions which can cause the tendon to rupture may include:
- Running on a hard surface
- Running uphill
- Sudden acceleration while walking or running
- Forceful jumping or pivoting
- Playing sports that involve sudden start and stop
- Bone spur
- Lack of warm-up before a workout or game
- Injury due to falling or tripping
Achilles tendon rupture is most commonly seen among “weekend warriors” or middle-aged people who play sports occasionally in their spare time. Since their bodies are not well conditioned for sports, sudden activity leads to injury.
Also, diseases or certain medicines like steroids can weaken the tendon and cause ruptures.
What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendon Rupture?
Symptoms of Achilles tendon rupture can include:
- A snapping or popping sensation
- Sudden severe pain (stabbing pain) in the back of the ankle
- Swelling and redness
- Inability to walk or rise on toes
What happens during treatment?
Treatment options include surgical and nonsurgical approaches. The decision of whether to recommend surgery is based on the severity of the injury and health status of the patient.
Nonsurgical treatment usually involves the use of a cast, brace or a walking boot to allow the tendon to heal by restricting motion.
Various surgical procedures are available for tendon repair. Your doctor will decide the method which is best suited for your condition. The surgery is done by an orthopedic surgeon and a team of skilled healthcare providers. During the surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin on the calf. If you are having minimally invasive surgery, then the surgeon will make smaller incisions. They use a tiny camera with a light to perform the repair. They remove the damaged portion of the tendon and repair the remaining tendon. Later, the incision is closed with sutures.
Surgery offers important benefits. It increases the strength of the tendon and improves muscle function and ankle movement while decreasing the risk of re-rupture.
How is the recovery after the surgery?
This surgery is usually an outpatient procedure and you can go home on the same day. Your ankle is placed in a splint to give support and promote healing. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications to relieve the pain after surgery. To reduce the pain and swelling, you can keep the leg elevated. You may be required to use crutches after surgery to keep the weight off your leg. You will need to do exercises or go for physical therapy to strengthen the muscles of your ankle and leg.
Why Choose Treasure Valley Hospital for this surgery?
When you are injured, in pain and your movement is restricted, you want the best orthopedic care available near you. At Treasure Valley Hospital you have access to the most accomplished orthopedic doctors with the latest techniques at their disposal. Because Treasure Valley Hospital is a small, physician-owned facility, our staff is able to focus completely on providing high-quality patient care at a lower cost.