Some people refer to an injured Achilles tendon as a tear while others refer to it as a rupture. These are two interchangeable terms for the same painful damage. This strong, flexible tendon is vital in our ability to walk, dance, jump, and run. As the strongest tendon in the entire body, it is very important to get it fixed if it is damaged. Your Glendora General Surgeon will evaluate your injury, have you undergo medical testing to determine the extent of the damage, and, if you are a good candidate for an operation, he will discuss the two types of Achilles tendon surgeries. The most successful results for this type of operation happens when the procedure is performed within 7 to 14 days after injury because the swelling has subsided and the precise location of the tear can be identified.
Types of Achilles Tendon Surgery
The procedure to repair a damaged Achilles tendon is either open surgery or minimally invasive surgery. Both types of surgery can be performed as an outpatient process in a clinic or hospital. A numbing nerve medication is put around the surgical area to reduce post-surgical discomfort and pain. You will be given a general or local anesthetic to ensure that you are comfortable during the surgery.
This type of operation involves one incision, 5 to 6 inches in length, made in the back of the lower leg, which begins just above the heel bone. When the surgeon locates the tear, the ends are sewn together, and the incision is stitched closed.
Minimally Invasive Surgery:
This type of surgery is performed through a smaller incision, 1 to 1.5 inches in length, made perpendicular to the tendon at the spot of the injury. Special surgical needles with attached sutures are used to connect the damaged tendon. The tendon is brought out of the leg through the incision where all of the sutures are tied together before replacing the tendon in the leg. The incision is then stitched close.
Post Operative Care
After surgery, your leg will be put in a cast or splint to keep the foot and tendon stabilized. Your surgeon will instruct you on post-operative care when to make follow-up appointments, and when you will be able to resume daily activities. While you may be able to leave the clinic or hospital a few hours after your surgery, you will need to have someone available to drive you home.