The Achilles tendon is a strong and important part of the lower leg. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, allowing us to push off the ground and go about our daily activities. However, if the Achilles tendon is ruptured, simple movements can become painful and difficult. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon and restore function to the leg.
Surgery to repair a torn (ruptured) Achilles tendon is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic. It involves making an incision or cut in the back of the leg above the heel to access the torn tendon. The tendon is then carefully sewn back together. However, surgery may be delayed for about one week after the rupture to let the swelling go down.
After surgery, a cast or walking boot is usually worn for six to 12 weeks. At first, the cast or boot is positioned to keep the foot pointed downward as the tendon heals. The cast or boot is then adjusted gradually to put the foot in a neutral position (not pointing up or down).
Rehabilitation after Achilles surgery is critical for a successful recovery. Physical therapy can help to regain strength and flexibility in the leg, reduce pain and swelling, and improve function. Specific gentle exercises, known as restricted motion, can shorten the time needed for rehabilitation. In some cases, oral medications or epidural injections may be recommended to manage pain.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions closely after Achilles surgery. Some common recommendations include:
– Keep the cast or walking boot clean and dry at all times
– Avoid weight-bearing activities for the first few weeks after surgery
– Take pain medications as prescribed
– Attend all scheduled physical therapy sessions
Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a specialist in foot and ankle surgery, including Achilles surgery. He has extensive experience with both non-surgical and surgical treatments for Achilles tendon injuries. By consulting with Dr Huang DPM, you can be assured of receiving personalized and effective treatment for your condition.
In conclusion, Achilles surgery is an effective treatment option for those experiencing a ruptured Achilles tendon. It involves making an incision or cut in the back of the leg above the heel to access the torn tendon, and then carefully sewing it back together. Rehabilitation after surgery is critical for a successful recovery, and specific gentle exercises can shorten the time needed for rehabilitation. If you or a loved one are experiencing a painful Achilles injury, consider consulting with Dr Gilbert Huang DPM to explore your options for effective treatment.